The federal government on Wednesday launched the National Campaign Against Fake News in Abuja, the country’s capital.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said fake news is an epidemic the government needed to fight as it was now sweeping the world.
The minister believes that fake news has done more harm than good with regard to farmers-herders clashes in Nigeria.
He said, “In a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country like ours, fake news is a time bomb. And in recent weeks, many anarchists have been doing everything possible to detonate the bomb. But for the prudence and vigilance of Nigerians, they – the religious and ethnic bigots among us – would have set the nation on fire, especially over the farmers-herders clashes as well as communal clashes.”
“It is a clear and present danger to global peace and security. It is a threat to democracy. The epidemic of fake news, mixed with hate speech, is a disaster waiting to happen.”
“For the media, the epidemic is even worse. This is because fake news, in most cases, designed to misinform, undermines confidence in the media and once the people lose confidence in the media, the society is in trouble.”