President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the heightened state of insecurity in the country is intensified by fake news and misinformation.
The president who was represented by the Minister of Information and Culture, Ahlaji Lai Mohammed, at a summit organised by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) titled “Summit for National Integration, Peace and Security,” on Tuesday in Abuja said security is the business of everyone.
He stated that fake news and misinformation endanger the peace, security and development of any nation.
Describing the NIPR’s contribution to the discourse on national unity as the most practical and positive contribution to the pressing challenges of peace and security in the country.
The Minister said: “In recent times, in particular, the issues of peace and security have been on the lips of many Nigerians, against the backdrop of rampaging terrorists, bandits and kidnappers. This crisis of insecurity has, unfortunately, been exacerbated by the twin evil of fake news and misinformation.
“I want to use this important platform to commend our gallant men and women in uniform, and appeal to all our compatriots to continue to support them in their onerous task of keeping our country safe. We must also realise that security is the business of everyone, hence the tagline if you see something, say something.
Lai Mohammed further pointed out that “Terrorists or bandits are not spirits. They are human beings and they reside in our communities. They must all be exposed and crushed for peace to reign.
“Let me cite some recent instances of fake news and misinformation in this regard. On August 10, the Kaduna state government had to debunk an online report claiming that hundreds of bandits had laid siege on the Kaduna-Zaria road. The widely circulated message even advised travelers not to enter or leave Zaria due to the presence of bandits at Dumbi and Jaji along the Zaria road.”