Gov. Matawalle Warms Media over Spread of Fake News

The Governor of Zamfara state, Bello Mohammed Matawalle, has warned media practitioners to avoid circulating fake news that is harmful to society.

The Governor stated this while speaking at the first Preelection lecture organised by the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Zamfara State Council with the topic ‘Effect of Fake News on Security’.

Matawalle was represented by the Special Adviser on Security, DIG Mamman Tsafe (Rtd), who characterised fake news as a lethal bomb capable of destroying beyond imagination and, therefore, should be avoided.

According to him, “Fake news is a bad omen for the society which must be avoided by media in order not to cause confusion and violence in the community.

“Fake news is a bad omen for the society which media must avoid not to cause confusion and violence in the community.

“Fake news is one of the aggravator of the current insecurity being faced in Zamfara state and other parts of Nigeria and indeed the world at large.
“I implore you as trained journalists not to start or share news items which are not verified as such news might be fake, and this can lead to loss of lives and property of the people,” he warned.

In his part, the Dean of Student Affairs, Federal University, Gusau, Professor Muhammad Lawal Mayanchi, said fake news is false, misconceived and misleading information presented as news to hide falsehood.

He stressed that fake news Is often motivated, spread or enforce by tribal, religious and territorial forces or affiliation to incite political or security havoc.

Prof. Mayanchi added that: “Fake news could be defined as false, misconceived and misleading information tendered as news. In most cases it is used as deceptive tactics to cover falsehood,” he said.

“A news story is not fake simply because it is impolite or inconvenient. A news story that challenges your beliefs or values isn’t fake news. A news story that is rejected by those in power does not make that story a fake news story either,” he said.

The Professor charged the media to avoid being used by self-seeking individuals who wish to achieve their selfish interests through spreading fake news.

“To curve polarisation of fake news, individuals should also stop editing and forwarding news without official information from the government,” he warned.

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