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Governor Nasir Elrufai of Kaduna State said that fake news is becoming an epidemic while hate speech is proliferating as a veritable threats to Nigeria’s security.

Speaking, at the opening of the 47th Meeting of the National Council on Information taking place in Kaduna, Governor Elrufai said there is the need to curb the menace of fake news and hate speech. According to him,it is through national dialogue that the menace could be curb.

The Governor, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye said “There is need for a serious national dialogue on the matter. This has to take place at different levels. The onus is on the elite to take the lead, to fashion and uphold national consensus on the key matters that confront our country. Central to this quest is an affirmation of the values that will guide our quest to build the good society.

“Therefore, the exercise of the freedom of speech is a significant right. It is vital to our sense of individual liberty and essential to our progress as a country. We should all cherish the right to free expression so much that we must not allow it to be viewed as license.

“Rights imply responsibility, and we must all refrain from creating the impression that freedom of speech is freedom from any responsibility. As John Milton noted, “none can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom but licence.” Let it be said of us that as Nigerians, we understand and cherish the blessings of freedom, and we uphold its obligations.

Speaking further he said “Fake news is a challenge that would require multilevel efforts to contain. We need to empower our people with high levels of media literacy. There is so much information that is readily available, and increasingly people require tools to distinguish fact from fiction. People must be encouraged to question what they read or view, and to share only what they have verified as fact. That is at the level of the consumer who is often an unwitting victim of manipulation. For the creators of fake news, the response is appropriate law enforcement action.”

Earlier, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed had led a delegation on a courtesy visit to Malam Nasir El-Rufai at the Kaduna State Government House.

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By Roving

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