Tinubu Highlights Threat of False Narratives, Calls for Media Support in Fight for Democracy  - The Top Society

Tinubu Highlights Threat of False Narratives, Calls for Media Support in Fight for Democracy 

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Uyo, Akwa Ibom State – In a pivotal address at the 19th Nigeria Editors Conference 2023, President Bola Tinubu, represented by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, expressed deep concern over the escalating trend of false narratives and misinformation jeopardizing Nigeria’s societal fabric.

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Acknowledging the important role played by editors in the fight for democracy, President Tinubu revealed the Federal Government’s commitment to combatting the systemic moral decline through an extensive mass reorientation campaign, emphasizing unity, patriotism, and the promotion of positive values.

Addressing the gathering at Ibom Icon Hotel, Uyo, on Wednesday, President Tinubu called on Nigeria Editors to actively support the campaign for moral rectitude among Nigerians, underscoring the pivotal role of the media in shaping public perception.

He said,

“We are faced with the proliferation of misinformation and false narratives which threaten the fabric of our society. It is our collective duty to combat this menace through fact-checking, responsible reporting, and promoting media and digital literacy with which we can fortify our defences against the corrosive effects of a false narrative. 

“Against the background of imminent systemic moral decline over a long period leading to the erosion of our national  values, it’s my pleasure to inform you that the Ministry of Information and National Orientation is working to change the narrative in our country through the implementation of a sustained mass reorientation campaign that aims to foster unity, patriotism and promotion of positive values among Nigerians 

“We seek to collectively reorientate ourselves as Nigerians in the direction of a stronger sense of national identity and shared values. I will therefore appeal to all our Editors to support this campaign for national rectitude among Nigerians. 

Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State, in his remarks, urged the Nigerian Guild of Editors to prioritize good governance in their reporting, emphasizing the media’s influence on promoting and sustaining democracy.

He said

“I want to plead that you use the media, to engender a new template of reportage, one that is developmental-oriented, where our leaders are called to account without being overly obtrusive. 

“No one desires a pliant media that acts like the cheerleaders to the government, but in trying to break the news, we should be careful not to break the fabric of the society. You need the nation first to freely practice your profession,” Eno said.

Eze Anaba, President of the Nigeria Guild of Editors, stressed the importance of balanced, accurate, and fair reporting. He called on colleagues to utilize fact-checking tools, asserting that this is the most effective way to fulfill their constitutional duty under Section 22 – holding power to account and upholding human rights, the rule of law, good governance, and democratic principles.

He further called on political figures not to stifle the press, charging them to

“Always remember that a free press is like oxygen to a democracy. Let nothing be done to stifle the press or shrink freedom of expression and media freedom under any guise.” 

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The conference, according to Anaba, reflects the Editors’ commitment to the growth and development of both the media industry and the nation at large.

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