Lai Mohammed, minister of information, has described fake news as a time bomb in Nigeria.
Mohammed, speaking, during a programme on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), described the growing level of fake news and hate speech in the country as a threat to national security.
The federal government on Wednesday, launched a campaign against fake news.
“At a conference for media handlers of state governors, in Abuja in 2017, we warned that fake news and misinformation could pose a threat to the 2019 general election,” Mohammed had said.
“Unfortunately, instead of abating, the fake news issue, which became a global phenomenon in the wake of the 2016 US election, has grown worse, hence our decision to launch this National Campaign Against Fake News.”
Mohammed said while the prevalence of fake news is a global issue, it is even more dangerous in Nigeria because of its multi-ethnic and religious diversification.
“The essence of launching the campaign against fake news on Wednesday is to sensitise Nigerians to understand the dangers posed by fake news because it threatens not just peace and security but it is also a threat to the very corporate existence of a nation,” Mohammed said.
“In particular, in a country like Nigeria which is a multi-ethnic and religious, fake news and hate speech is time bomb.
“We also launched the campaign to sensitise Nigerians that each and every one of us can play a role in combating the rising level of fake news.
“Fake news is a global issue, it is not just a Nigerian issue but we are more concern about Nigeria because of the potential it has to our corporate existence.
“It is true that the major pivotal of fake news is probably the social media but gradually it is also penetrating into the traditional media. The moment media organisation loses it credibility, the society is in trouble.”