Like the Nigerian minister of information Alhaji Lai Mohammed said "Today, every young Nigerian with a smartphone considers self as a journalist". Indeed this is not far from the truth. The official spokesman for the Nigerian Army also testified that misinformation, fake news and misleading reports are affecting security operations in the southern part of the country where there are incessant attacks by unknown gunmen and other violent agitators. This weakens public support and confidence in the security forces which the hoodlums and criminals take advantage of.
Public support and contribution are necessary factors toward achieving desired results in the field of operations. Fake news and distorted facts will only boost the morale of criminals who are wreaking havoc and destroying the economic stability of the southeastern region of the country.
There are verifiable media organisations and government sources that periodically brief the general public regarding development in terms of security operations and other related matters. The Nigerian Army operates verified social media platforms through which the military interact with the public.
Young Nigerians especially across social media platforms share unverified information or distorted facts regarding military operations against unknown gunmen in the south which affect the efficiency of the security agents. Some do it unknowingly simply because they follow the story from unverifiable sources or propagandists.
(Photo Credit: Vanguard)
For instance, days to Anambra elections, there was a video of security operatives in a rowdy mood. The video went viral to the extent that some gullible people started misinforming the public that the officers were protesting for allowances. The Nigerian Police Force in a special report debunked the reports and clarified that the officers were simply chanting praise songs as they usually do before operations. This confirms the action of propagandists trying to mislead the general public for their private gains.
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