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Prosecute Lai, APC for fake news-Senator

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Chairman, Senate Committee on information, Culture and National Orientation, Sen. Suleiman Asonya Adokwe has said the ruling APC and its Information Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed should be prosecuted for peddling more fake news than anyone else in the country .

Sen. Adokwe Stated this in Jos at the Plateau State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, saying, “If we are to prosecute the peddlers of fake news, the ruling APC and the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammad would go to prison immediately but we take it as political statement and vote catching statement and we take it like that”.

He explained further that, fake news has to do with the fact that there were a lot of social media platforms in the country now than before. He added that there are a lot of news flying around and which are not limited only to Nigeria.

He counsels that what remains for news consumers to do was to be able to acquire the ability to distinguish what is fake and what is good.

Speaking further on the dangers of fake news, the senator representing Nasarawa South added that they are characteristics of photo shopping, “news that are disjointed if you are smart enough you will able to know there is no link between the paragraphs of the news. So it is becoming all over the world, it is not just Nigeria. It is not something you can legislate out of existence other than to deal with it as the laws existing has provided”.

“If you do something that is inimical to someone’s well-being, he has the right to seek for redressed in the court of law. I think when some people are prosecuted for peddling fake news it will now dawn on people that this thing cannot go unpunished.

Asked what should be done to curtail the menace, Sen. Adokwe said, before the government criminalizes ordinary political comments and reduce them to fake news, one has to be very, very careful that we should not play into the hands of repressive regimes.

Sen. Suleiman Adokwe stressed that they can’t start labelling every news as fake and then criminalized it and put you in prison. “We should be able to distinguish between mere political comments that are aimed at getting votes than if somebody wants to pitch you against each other at an election, he should not reduce it to criminal activity so that he can have the opportunity to jail them.

“But certainly, every fake news that is aimed at creating disaffection in the society, that would lead to people killing people, rising the sentiment of one community against the other that should be dealt with instantly. But if you say Dr. Adokwe is so, so and so simply because you want to beat him at the poll I don’t take that as anything. I also find something to say about you. Is it a normal cause of event for looking for votes?

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