PDP Was The Criminal In Osun Election, But Fake News Made It Look Like It Was APC – Lai Mohammed

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Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said fake news played huge part in the recently held gubernatorial election in Osun State.

The minister claimed that the allegations placed against APC were from fake news, because the crimes were committed by PDP, which saw 16 of the opposition party members arrested for various offences.

Lai Mohammed has however revealed that Facebook has concluded plans to partner with the government in combating fake news in Nigeria.

The partnership will work with The Federal Government’s National Campaign Against Fake News to check the menace.

The minister announced the planned cooperation in Abuja on Tuesday when he visited Daar Communications, owners of AIT and Raypower, in furtherance of the campaign.

He said the national campaign, which was launched on July 11, 2018, has succeeded in bringing the phenomenon to the front burner of national discourse.

Alhaji Mohammed said FG is not under any illusion that the campaign will immediately end the menace of fake news but stressed that the creation of the national campaign puts the issue of fake news on the front burner.

“Fake news in Nigeria is now a subject of national discourse, workshops, and conferences. In the coming days, the social networking web platform, Facebook, will be meeting with us and other top policymakers across the country in the days ahead to see how to assist us in fighting fake news.

That, to us, is a major step forward, and we thank all our partners, and indeed all Nigerians, for this achievement,” he said.

The minister, who described fake news as a global phenomenon, said different countries are adopting various measures to tackle the menace.

He added that Nigeria has decided to appeal to the sense of responsibility of media practitioners, bloggers, and Social Media Influencers, instead of engaging in coercion or censorship.

He said if left unchecked, fake news has the capacity to disrupt the peace and unity of the country and it’s also a clear and present danger to the nation’s democracy.

“For example, the fake news phenomenon played out during the recent governorship elections in Osun State. Whereas 16 PDP members were arrested for various offences, including impersonating observers and for violence during the rerun, the purveyors of fake news made it look as if the APC was the perpetrators of these crimes.

“Also, a few days ago, fake news about the release of Leah Sharibu circulated freely on the social media. Imagine the additional trauma this would have caused for the parents. Imagine the implication on efforts to secure her release, and indeed the national security implications,” Mohammed said.

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