The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has frowned at the high level of fake news and provocative information in the country and tasked media practitioners to address the menace.
Speaking at a dinner on Thursday, 12 September 2019, in Abuja for media practitioners in appreciation for their support, Osinbajo expressed his commitment to partner with the media.
He said that social media had made fake news more complex, noting that “fake news or provocative information can cause chaos, civil unrest, war or even death”.
“I think all of us in the media, social media, print, TV, all of us, should begin to do something serious about fake news before it begins to consume us,” he said.
Osinbajo appealed to the practitioners to be cautious and to always fact-check or interrogate information before publishing because, according to him, the public has the right to know the truth.
“Mr. President said he sat for and obtained his West African School Certificate in 1961 at the Kastina College. The examination body then was Cambridge University, the same Cambridge University we know. I expect any media organisation to do a simple investigation to establish whether it is true or not. But nobody did it, and the matter went to court,” he said
A television station, he said, falsely reported that a WAEC official denied Buhari’s certificate.
“It sounds funny because the WAEC official only knows about WAEC certificate, but this is a West African School Certificate by Cambridge University. But because nobody bothered to find out, the public believed the lies for so long,’’ he said.
Osinbajo called on the media for more cooperation and support and assured them of his continued partnership and regular meeting.