The federal government on Tuesday warned that increasing fake news pose a great danger to the successful conduct of February 25 presidential and national assembly elections.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who stated this at the 21st session of the President Muhammadu Buhari scorecard media series on Abuja, vowed that government has several options to deal with the menace.
According to him, there is an increase in the dissemination of fake news, which he blamed on the opposition.
The minister stated: “Today, we have the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment.
“Before I invite our Special Guest to the podium, please permit me to make a brief remark about the increasing wave of fake news and disinformation, permeating especially the social media space, in the run-up to the general elections.
“Recall, ladies and gentlemen, that during the 4th edition of this series on Nov. 22nd, 2022, I said fake news and disinformation constitute a potent threat to the elections, because they are capable of hampering its success. I reiterated this during the 12th edition on Dec. 14th 2022.
“With about three weeks to the Presidential and National Assembly elections on Feb. 25th, I can say, unequivocally, that there has been a worrisome and astronomical increase in the use of fake news and disinformation, making this a clear and present danger to the success of the elections.
“This increase is undoubtedly the work of some destabilizing agents, some of them linked to the opposition. They are churning out fake news and disinformation on an industrial scale. Their sole aim is to destabilize the electoral process and plunge the nation into crisis.
“I have always said that this government will not stand by and allow some miscreants with access to phones and data to destabilize the country.
“I am therefore warning the purveyors of fake news and disinformation to desist. The government is not and cannot be helpless.
“We have a range of options to checkmate the use of fake news and disinformation, and we are looking at the best options to ensure that the agents of destabilization do not thwart the success of the elections with their unscrupulous resort to fake news and disinformation. A word is enough for the wise.”
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