Fake News:- Zamfara Govt reads riot act to journalists, social media handlers

Zamfara state’s Information Commissioner, Alhaji Ibrahim Magaji Dosara (with mic) and other security Chiefs in the state during the press conference

 From Maiharaji Altine Gusau

Zamfara state Government has warned journalists and social media handlers to avoid fake news and unguarded utterances that might undermine the government’s efforts on security, peaceful coexistence and progress of the state.

Addressing a joint press briefing organised by the state’s Ministry of information and all the heads of the security agencies in the state, the commissioner of Information Alhaji Ibrahim Magaji Dosara said, henceforth the state government would not take it lightly for any media that was found wanting in disseminating fake news particularly on security matters.

The commissioner said, it was the state Government’s Security Council resolution on fake news, unguarded utterances and how they undermine the state government’s efforts on security, peaceful coexistence and progress of the state.

 The commissioner said, “Cognisance of the ill effects of fake news, unguarded utterances by members of both conventional and the social media, the Zamfara state government among its resolutions recently adopted to take appropriate action against unprofessional conducts in media practices”. 

“The state government realises that the print and electronic media activities, especially the social media handlers undermine the peace process of the state government”. 

“Let me emphasize here that the state government will never continue to condone the unwholesome act”. 

 Dosara maintained that, he and the security chiefs in the state have been directed to monitor the conduct of media practitioners in the state. 

“The Commissioner of Police, the SDS, the Civil defence and myself as the Commissioner have been saddled with the responsibility of ensuring compliance to professionalism in media practices as well as cyber crimes and the violation of public peace, fundamental human rights and the rule of law”.

He declared that, the administration of Governor Bello Matawalle was making frantic efforts to ensure the sustainence of peace and stability in the state, lamenting however that some media reporters and social media handlers were always jeopardizing the efforts through negative reportage.

“Gentlemen of the press, you are all living witnesses of the difficult terrain the present administration of His Excellency, Governor Bello Mohammed,MON (Matawallen Maradun) was crossing in terms of security”. 

“Governor Bello Mohammed came on board as the Executive Governor of Zamfara state when the security situation in the state was very tense, where the bandits from their hideouts in dense forests of the state and members of the then civilian joint task force were drawing a battle line, killing each other as well as innocent lives and the destruction of properties of our people”.

“Through dialogue and other necessary measures taken by the Governor, members of the civilian joint task force were persuaded and subsequently dropped their arms”. 

The commissioner many of the bandits dropped their arms, with little among them who turned down the request of the state government and therefore continue to sabotage the ongoing peace process of the state government. 

Dosara concluded that, “The state government will never rest on its oars to convince them to embrace the peace process”.

“With the peace process, lest we forget, the battle line between the bandits and vigilante group has been removed.

Consequently, the killings, maiming, wanton destruction of properties have been brought to its barest minimal across Zamfara state”. 

Unfortunately, however, the Zamfara state government has realised that media practitioners most especially the social media have been undermining the efforts of the state government by reporting/casting fake news that could jeopardise the peace process and may consequently result in creating confusion, possible misunderstanding among our people”.

“I must, at this juncture, applaud members of the pen profession who work according to the ethic of the profession”.

“Avoid arm-chair journalism, avoid being biased and be objective in your reporting/news casting”.

“I must  applaud the long existing cordial relationship between the Zamfara State Government and representatives of various media organisations serving in the State.

“I assure you that the state government will continue to do everything humanly possible to sustain the relationship”.

 Dosara however commended the media for playing a significant role in moulding the behaviour and thinking of the society.

 “Members of the pen profession, as watchdog of the society can help in promoting the good, the bad or the ugly in the society”.

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