Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, says Nigeria is safer now than it has been in recent years.
During a ministerial panel discussion on Tuesday at the ongoing UNESCO media and information literacy week in Abuja, Mohammed made this statement.
Speaking on the recent terror alerts from the US and the UK, the minister stated that while the warnings have caused panic, they do not accurately reflect the country’s security status.
He also charged that the news was published by the media as clickbait.
He said that “some media outlets and social media influencers are frequently exposed spreading false information on their platforms just for clickbait and the ensuing financial gain.”
According to Mohammed, clickbait may have contributed to the dissemination of the alleged security notice that certain foreign embassies in Nigeria recently issued.
He said, “If such a security notice was ever issued, one would assume that it was intended to draw Nigerian residents’ attention to the issuing nations.
“This alert suddenly spread across both traditional and new media, causing panic in the political system. Life was disturbed; schools were shuttered; companies were closed; travel arrangements were changed. Nobody was interested in learning the veracity of these signals.
“They simply published, profited greatly from clickbait, and blasted the results.
“Well, I can assure everyone that our military and other security agencies have kept up their efforts to secure and defend both Nigerians and foreigners who live in Nigeria.
“Terrorists have taken a beating and are now fleeing. The bandits have been wiped out and dispersed. Thanks to the sacrifice of our men and women in military, our nation is safer now than it has ever been.
“We do not minimize the threat that terrorists, bandits, and others of their kind pose to the peace, security, and stability of our country. However, our security personnel have taken initiative. Nigerians must also remain vigilant but must not panic. The worst is past for Nigeria in terms of insecurity, as I recently stated in a statement.
In his view, everyone must cooperate to fight the disinformation scourge since it clearly threatens the peace and stability of both the nation and the entire world.