Fake news responsible for herdsmen, farmers’ crisis – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Saturday appealed to all Nigerians to join efforts with the government to combat the menace of fake news.

The minister made the appeal while speaking at the inaugural lecture of the Guild of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme of the lecture was “Combating Fake News in the Cyberspace”.

Mohammed said the collective efforts of all Nigerians were needed in view of the threats fake news posed to peace and unity of the country.

He explained that most of the security issues confronting the country, such as herders/farmers were caused by the misrepresentation of facts in both the mainstream and social media.

The minister said the spread of fake news had also promoted ethnic and religious suspicions among Nigerians.

He said the media, especially, had a huge responsibility to check the problem in view of their strength and reach, calling on professionals to always verify their facts before sending out information.

“The media have a responsibility to verify the facts before they share, because once they share, it is always very difficult to retract.

“You see most of the issues we have about herders/farmers clashes, killings are being fuelled by fake news.

“Look at the farmers/herders’ clashes, the truth is that they are being caused largely by population explosion, climate change and pure criminality.

“So, it has nothing to do with religion or ethnicity.”

NAN
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