FG Reprimand US, UK Embassies Over Recent Security Alert

The federal government, through the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, has strongly condemned the unverified security alert recently issued by certain embassies in Nigeria.

He also warned Nigerian media outlets and social media personalities against disseminating security alerts without first verifying their authenticity and considering the implications.

The minister condemned the act at a ministerial panel of the ongoing UNESCO Media and Information Literacy Week in Abuja yesterday.

Speaking as a panelist at the UNESCO session with the topic, “National Media and Information Literacy Frameworks, Sustaining Beyond Disinformation’’ the Minister said; “some media outlets and social media personalities are usually caught spreading unverified information on their platforms just for click bait and the attendant monetary gain.

“Talking of click bait, this may be what informed the spread of the supposed security alert issued recently by some foreign embassies in Nigeria.

“One would imagine that if indeed this kind of security alert was issued, it was for the attention of citizens of the issuing countries in Nigeria.

“Suddenly, this alert found its way into the media, both new and traditional, thus creating panic in the polity.

“Schools were shut. Businesses were closed. Travel plans were altered. Lives were disrupted. No one cared to find out about the authenticity of these alerts.

“They just published, got the benefit of massive click bait and damned the consequences.’’

The session was moderated by the Assistant Director-General, Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO, Dr Tawfik Jelassi.

Others on the team of panelists included Nigeria’s Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Opiah while the UK Minister of Tech and Digital Economy, Damian Collins participated virtually.

Ada Peter

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