President Bola Tinubu has expressed deep concern over the escalating prevalence of false narratives and misinformation, asserting that this troubling trend poses a significant threat to the core fabric of Nigerian society. Speaking at the 19th Nigeria Editors Conference 2023 in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the president, represented by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, acknowledged the pivotal role of editors in the fight for Nigerian democracy.
Tinubu emphasized the urgent need to combat misinformation through collective efforts, stressing the importance of fact-checking, responsible reporting, and the promotion of media and digital literacy. He underscored the corrosive effects of false narratives and called for a fortified defense against their detrimental impact on society.
In response to the persistent moral decline in the country, the president outlined the federal government’s commitment to implementing a sustained mass reorientation campaign. This campaign aims to address the erosion of national values, foster unity and patriotism, and promote positive values among Nigerians. Tinubu appealed to Nigerian editors to actively support this campaign for national rectitude.
Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State urged the Nigerian Guild of Editors to prioritize good governance in their reportage, promoting a developmental-oriented approach. Eno emphasized the need for balanced and fair reporting that holds leaders accountable without compromising the fabric of society. He encouraged the media to strike a balance between constructive criticism and the responsible practice of journalism.
President of the Nigeria Guild of Editors, Eze Anaba, highlighted the conference as a contribution to the growth and development of the media industry and the nation as a whole. Anaba urged his colleagues to deliver balanced, accurate, factual, and fair reports, emphasizing the use of fact-checking tools to fulfill their constitutional duty of holding power accountable and upholding democratic principles.
The chairman of the conference, Sam Amuka Pemu, addressed the critical economic situation in the country and reminded editors to exercise discretion in disseminating information and remove unwanted items responsibly. He stressed the indispensable role of a free press as essential to democracy, cautioning against any attempts to stifle freedom of expression and media freedom.
The conference served as a platform for robust discussions on the media’s role in stimulating economic growth and technological advancement, recognizing the challenges posed by misinformation and the collective responsibility to safeguard the integrity of information dissemination in Nigeria.