World Devt Information Day: Obaseki flays role of fake news in spreading violence amid #ENDSARS protest

… advocates responsible use of new media technologies

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has flayed the role of fake news and alternative facts in the escalation of violence and carnage across the country in the wake of the hijack of the peaceful #ENDSARS protests by Nigerian youths.

The governor made the submission in commemoration of the World Development Information Day, marked by the United Nations and its sister agencies.

According to the governor, “As we mark the World Development Information Day, I urge youths to make judicious use of new media technologies and be conscientious in consuming information on social media and other digital media platforms. Youths, as has been evidenced in the coordination of the agitation on social media, have the golden opportunity to seek solutions to society’s problems through constructive deployment of information and communication technologies. Abuse may lead to chaos, but positive change is also possible and beneficial.

“This is even more pertinent as we have seen the adverse effect of spreading fake news and misinformation on social media channels which escalated violence and carnage in the wake of the hijack of the peaceful #ENDSARS protests across the country.”

Governor Obaseki noted that the state government has been responsive in engaging the populace on digital media channels in delivering good governance, which is demonstrated in its committed to open governance fora that has seen government’s budget and other important information published regularly in the print media and on its website for public knowledge thereby deepening transparency and accountability in governance.

He noted that the state government would continue to remain accountable to the people through traditional and new media channels to ensure its dealings and engagement are open and transparent so as to carry the people along in the process of governance.

According to the UN, “The information and communications technologies have the potential to provide new solutions to development challenges, particularly in the context of globalization, and can foster economic growth, competitiveness, access to information and knowledge, poverty eradication, and social inclusion that will help to expedite the integration of all countries, especially developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, into the global economy.

“Furthermore, it is a well-established fact that information and communications technologies present new opportunities and challenges and that there is a pressing need to address the major impediments that developing countries face in accessing the new technologies, such as insufficient resources, infrastructure, education, capacity, investment and connectivity, and issues related to technology ownership, standards and flows, and in this regard calls upon all stakeholders to provide adequate resources, enhanced capacity-building and technology transfer, on mutually agreed terms, to developing countries.”

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