As preparation for the 2023 general kicks into high gear, the Department of State Services (DSS) has identified social media and fake news as the biggest threat to the upcoming election.
It was the service that warned the media against wrongdoing or activities that could create discord in the country.
DSS Public Relations Officer (PRO), Dr Peter Afunanya, speaking to reporters at the DSS headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday, warned of escalating threats against the general elections.
The spokesperson, who noted that social media and fake news have caused widespread violence in the country, said the media was essential at a time like this and should play a vital role in stability Politics.
He said journalists should always verify information before publishing it, stressing that verification was important because retraction does not change information already published.
“Soon there will be elections and political programs have started, so what the media and every stakeholder needs to do is make sure the game is played by the rules.
“Nigerians must avoid any act that promotes hatred and disintegration and will cause us to live in distrust and disunity. We need to educate our families on how to be vigilant and watch out for each other and pass on critical information to security agencies.
“We have to understand that Nigeria is the only country we have and everyone has to pitch in to secure peace. The media should be ready to ensure that peace is restored in the country.
“I want to assure that the DSS will not abdicate its responsibilities and will continue to do the right thing, no matter the gored beef,” he added.
Unveiling the campaign messages produced in English, Igbo, Hausa and Yurba languages, Afunanya said, “Nigerians, the elections are back. Flee violence. Let’s play the game by the rules. Don’t be a thug, say no to violence. Let us rise to overcome violence, crime, sabotage against the peace of our nation.
“Nigeria is the only country we have, we have to do everything to keep it together. We must avoid any act that promotes hatred and disintegration. Say no to the separatist movement, terrorism, fake news, religious bigotry and any act that tends to divide us as a nation.
Speaking further, he said: ‘For security information call 08132222105, 09153391309, 09088373514 or mail to [email protected].”