The Federal Government on Tuesday asserted that hate speeches and fake news which dominate the social media space is detrimental to peace, security and national cohesion. Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, stated this at the Opening of a two-day 2021 Annual Roundtable on Cultural Orientation (ARTCO), organised by the National Institute […]
The Federal Government on Tuesday asserted that hate speeches and fake news which dominate the social media space is detrimental to peace, security and national cohesion.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, stated this at the Opening of a two-day 2021 Annual Roundtable on Cultural Orientation (ARTCO), organised by the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) in Ilorin.
The theme of this year’s edition is entitled: “Culture, Media and National Cohesion in Nigeria’’.
He said the federal government’s position on the regulation of the social media is in furtherance of national interest and in line with global best practices.
The who minister maintained that no responsible government will allow enemies of Nigeria use media as a tool to destabilise the nation, appealed to the media to shun sensational reporting and eschew fake news.
Mohammed represented by Mr Segun Adeyemi, his Special Assistant, stressed that sensitive reportage would help prevent or de-escalate conflicts as the case may be.
“The neglect of culture and the breakdown of cherished cultural values have contributed largely to the myriad challenges bedeviling our nation today.
“Concerted efforts are therefore required for cultural reconstruction and reawakening to achieve the much-desired socio-political and economic progress,’’ he said.
According to him, the media is an indispensable institution in modern and democratic societies, as the fourth estate of the realm and watchdog of society with constitutional backing.
“Media has a pivotal role to play in the progress and well being of society,’’ he added.
Mohammed reassured that President Muhammadu Buhari would continue to ensure enabling environment for a robust media practice in Nigeria.
“Contrary to insinuation in some quarters, this government has no plans to muzzle the media,’’ the minister assured.
He appreciated the media as a strategic partner “in our determination to foster the socio-economic and political development of our nation’’.
Mr Ado Yahuza, the Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), said 2021 theme was selected to emphasise the significance of culture and the media to socio-political and economic development of the nation.
He observed that the present challenges Nigeria is facing as a nation could be surmounted through a cultural rebirth programme with the media playing a leading role.
Yahuza therefored urged citizens to embrace our cherished cultural values of honesty, hard work, good neighbourliness, respect for elders and for constituted authority.
He said Nigeria has suffered from negative tendencies such as “get-rich-quick syndrome”, ethnic and religious biases, adding that this had eroded national cohesion and development.
“It is our belief that if the media emphasise and celebrate our cherished cultural values and the things that unite us instead of the things that divide us, national unity and cohesion can be easily achieved,’’ he said.
Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara appealed to parents to inculcate in their children the nation’s diverse traditional cultures and values such as languages and dresses.
AbdulRazaq, represented by Hajia Mopelola Abdulrahman, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communication and Information, assured of the state government support for the institute in carrying out its mandate of national cohesion and integration.