Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Lagos | 30 September 2017 | 2,438 times
Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, has bemoaned what he described as the epidemic of fake news.
Speaking Thursday at the 5th Anniversary Lecture of News Express, held at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos, Adesina said: “Fake news is an epidemic in this country now and it should worry the world in general.”
He said the world now consumes fake news more than real ones, adding that “fake news is not just what the purveyors do but also the consumers.”
He attributed the false information on the recent broadcast of President Buhari to the work of mischievous elements, pointing out that the falsification of the President’s speech at the United Nation was a hate speech meant to cause odium, discord and throw the community into upheaval.
Adesina charged media professionals to always, in the course of their duties, separate the wheat from the chaff, stressing that “it is a challenge for us in the media, particularly the online media.”
On the theme of the Lecture, “National Unity and the Restructuring Debate”, Adesina stated that the restructuring Nigeria needs is the one that will deepen the unity of the country and not the one that will divide the country.
He made it clear that President Buhari also believes in restructuring, contrary to the belief of some people. “Areas of restructuring are yet to be defined and there is no unanimity on what restructuring is. That is why we cannot dwell on it,” Adesina said.
According to him, “Restructuring that will fragment the country is bad but the one that will deepen the unity of the country is good and we believe in it because it involves devolution of power. Nigeria is positioned for self-restructuring.”
The Guest Lecturer, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, represented by his Chief Press Secretary, Mallam Jibrin Baba Ndace, similarly expressed his support for restructuring provided it is one that will strengthen the unity of the country.
Managing Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Hon. Emmanuel Jime, delivered the Keynote Address on the theme, “Using the Platform of Public Office to Reclaim the Promise of Our Destiny”. He was unavoidably absent but was represented by a Deputy Director in his office, Barrister Richard Obianu, who expertly delivered his paper.
Other speakers included Chairman of Zinox Technologies Limited, Leo Stan Eke; and General Manager, External Relations, Nigeria LNG Limited, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke, all of whom held the full house spell-bound with their masterly deliveries.
The event also graced by NTA Lagos Channel 10, Mrs. Helen Onma Odeleye; while former Anambra State Governor and Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, sent representatives. Peter Obi was represented by his Special Adviser, Barrister Valentine Obienyem and Dr. Peterside by NIMASA Director of Legal Services, Barrister Abdulsalam Suleiman.
President Emeritus, Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazurike, who was Chairman of the occasion, while welcoming participants earlier, applauded the role of press in the country, pointing out that men of the press are the most powerful in this country, whether we go forward of go back.
“The press will make or mar us. Anyone that does not respect them will live to pay the price,” he said.
The eminent lawyer, however, charged journalists not to promote propaganda but to kill the trend of hate speech.
One of the highlights of the well-attended event was the unveiling of the new logo of News Express by Presidential Spokesman Femi Adesina.
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