#Endsars Protest: PRNigeria tasks govts on transparency to check fake news

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PRNigeria limited, an Abuja-based media organisation has called on governments at all levels to ensure transparency, accountability and good governance to check fake news in the country.

Speaking on Wednesday in Abuja at a news conference, the Chief Executive Officer of PRNigeria, Alhaji Yushau Shuaib said that this would rebuild the confidence of Nigerians in government.

Shuaib described fake news emanating from abuse of social media as a major threat to peace and tranquility in the country adding that the media firm identified 101 fake news items during the #EndSars protest.

He said that 101 fake news items were used by social media influencers to aid the escalation of the initial peaceful protest that turned violent.

Shuaib noted that fake news if not curtailed, was capable of inciting violence that could destroy the country.

He recalled that one of the incidents of fake news was where Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, was quoted to have directed the Yorubas in the South Eastern region to return home.

According to him, such a dangerous misrepresentation can cause ethnic chaos among the tribes that make the nation.

Shuaib noted that the #EndSars protests which started on Oct.3 and lasted till Nov. 5 frayed a lot of nerves and caused the nation a lot of apprehension before reason prevailed.

He also recalled another fake news where Rivers governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike invited the army to kill all Igbos in Port Harcourt.

He also mentioned another incident of fake news where bishops were alleged to be leading the protest.

The communication expert advocated strong laws to check fake news saying it constituted a potential threat to democracy and national unity.

Shuaib, however, charged government at all levels to create sustainable jobs as a way of getting youths positively engaged.

He specifically urged government not to be insensitive with information, noting that hoarding information easily left room for fake news.

He disclosed that PRNigeria had worked on 81 out of 101 fake news identified since the protest, adding that the comprehensive report on fake news would be published in January 2021.