Misinformation threat to Nigeria, says Tinubu

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President Bola Tinubu has decried the high level of false narrative and misinformation in the country, saying that the trend is threatening the fabric of Nigerian society.

Speaking while declaring open the 19th Nigeria Editors Conference 2023 held at Ibom Icon Hotel, Uyo Akwa Ibom State, with the theme “Stimulating Economic Growth, Technological Advancement: The role of the media” on Wednesday, the president appreciated the Editors for their role in the fight for Nigeria democracy

The president who was represented by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said that the Federal Government is working to change the systemic moral decline in the country through the implementation of a sustained mass reorientation campaign aimed at fostering unity, patriotism and promotion of positive values among Nigerians.

He therefore called on the Nigeria Editors to support the campaign for moral rectitude among Nigerians.

He said, “We are faced with the proliferation of misinformation and false narratives which threaten the fabric of our society. It is our collective duty to combat this menace through fact-checking, responsible reporting, and promoting media and digital literacy with which we can fortify our defences against the corrosive effects of a false narrative.

“Against the background of imminent systemic moral decline over a long period leading to the erosion of our national  values, it’s my pleasure to inform you that the Ministry of Information and National Orientation is working to change the narrative in our country through the implementation of a sustained mass reorientation campaign that aims to foster unity, patriotism and promotion of positive values among Nigerians

“We seek to collectively reorientate ourselves as Nigerians in the direction of a stronger sense of national identity and shared values. I will therefore appeal to all our Editors to support this campaign for national rectitude among Nigerians.

Governor of Akwa Ibom State  Umo Eno, in his remarks, urged the Nigerian Guild of Editors to engender good governance in their reportage to promote the country’s democracy.

He said “I want to plead that you use the media, to engender a new template of reportage, one that is developmental-oriented, where our leaders are called to account without being overly obtrusive.

“No one desires a pliant media that acts like the cheerleaders to the government, but in trying to break the news, we should be careful not to break the fabric of the society. You need the nation first to freely practice your profession,” Eno said.

While commending the media for the support received from his administration from the Nigeria Union of Journalists Akwa Ibom Council, the governor said his administration was open to constructive criticisms and committed to driving a narrative of governance focused on making the rural dweller reap the dividends of democracy and build trust in government.

Earlier in his welcome address the president, of the Nigeria Guild of Editors, Eze Anaba said the conference was part of Editors’ contributions to the growth and development of not only the media industry but the country in general.

Anaba tasked colleagues with balanced, accurate, factual, and fair reports and implored them to make use of fact-checking tools, in disseminating editorial products to the people adding that was the only effective and efficient way to discharge their constitutional duty under Section 22 of holding power to account and upholding human rights, the rule of law, good governance, and democratic principles.

He also urged political actors not to suppress the press saying, “Always remember that a free press is like oxygen to a democracy. Let nothing be done to stifle the press or shrink freedom of expression and media freedom under any guise.”

Chairman of the conference and publisher of Vanguard Newspaper, Sam Amuka Pemu, who lamented the critical economic situation in the country reminded the Editors to always remove unwanted items in disseminating information to the public.

 

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