Lai Mohammed says fake news pose bigger threat than insurgency

Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information.

• Urges militancy to counter it with same vigour as in Boko Haram war
• Okowa,Uduaghan, raise concern over blackmailing through social media

Mimister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, yesterday said that the threat posed by fake news phenomenon to the country was greater than that from insurgency and militancy.

He, therefore, called on the military to strategise on how to counter it with the same vigour with which it confronted Boko Haram.

He also urged the military to devise a robust communication strategy and deploy more and capable personnel to the social media to wage a cyber warfare against fake news.

Speaking at the seventh national security seminar of the alumni association of the National Defence College in Abuja, Mohammed said: “I see a greater threat to Nigeria and the threat is greater than insurgency and militancy, and that is fake news. I think anybody who is a student of history or military history will agree with me that no war has ever been started by bullets or bows and arrows. Every war has been started by words. This is why I believe that whatever we do today in fighting terrorism and insurgency, we must pay adequate attention to communication strategy. We must have our people who will be very active also on the social media.”

The Commandant, National Defence College, Rear Admiral S. Alade, said having technically defeated the Boko Haram insurgency, there was need for the armed forces to brainstorm with a view to consolidating on the successes so far recorded against terrorism.

In another development, the immediate past governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has raised concern over frequent falsehood from blackmailers through social media. He said it might lead to security challenges if not checked.

Uduaghan, who spoke yesterday in Asaba at the opening ceremony of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council press week, warned that the government should not sit back and allow blackmailers to have their way as their activities in the recent times portended destruction and evil to the society.

Also, the state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, represented by his deputy, Mr. Kingsley Otuaro, lamented that social media, which should hold public office holders accountable to the people, was currently invaded by jobless miscreants who have nothing doing than publishing rumours.

He urged the NUJ to check the activities of the fake journalists who operate social media.

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