A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Generations for Peace (GFP) says fake news stokes the embers of conflicts and violence in Kaduna State.
The group, however, said that it had taken strategic steps to stem the spread of fake news through proper and timely propagation of right information on issues related to communities prone to violence in the state.
GFP’s Assistant Administration Officer Nigeria, Jelkat Abidoye stated this while briefing newsmen on Thursday in Kaduna.
According to him, the NGO is concerned over the negative impact of fake news and hate speech in building peaceful co-existence in Kaduna state.
“Kaduna State has a long history of religious and ethnic conflicts, and despite the efforts of the mass media in mobilising, informing, educating and enlightening the people, so as to bring harmony and tolerance amongst all sections of the state, fake and inciting news is also a major societal dilemma in building peace and co-existence.”
He said it was their utmost hope that, together with the media, they would be able to identify the causes of fake news and strategic action and steps to take to address its spread.
Abidoye added that the group is a global organisation founded by Prince Faisal Al-Hussein, President of Jordan Olympic Committee, with the vision of ensuring sustainable peace in actively tolerant communities via responsible citizenship.
“Since 2008, GFP has implemented programmes in and around Kaduna state by working with children, youths, adults and women.
Abidoye explained that with the support of the United States Embassy, Abuja, they had intensified efforts to bringing social inclusion, understanding and tolerance to communities experiencing conflicts, with the aim of helping to end the conflicts and build sustainable peace for future generations.
The official said their slogan, ‘Generations for Peace, pass it on,” was in appreciation of the role of the media in building peace in the society, because “information is power and light, lack of it could make members of the society become agitated, desperate, restless and sometimes utterly confused.
“Thus the roles journalists and journalism plays in a society that is prone to a crisis can easily be likened to man’s breathing. Opinions are shaped by the information people get from the different mass media outlets available,” he added.
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