The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who launched the campaign in Abuja on Wednesday, described fake news a global epidemic that could be worse than all the plagues that the world has recorded put together.
He said fake news was a clear and present danger to global peace and security, and a threat to democracy.
According to him, the fake news phenomenon is capable of undermining confidence in the media and ”once the people lose confidence in the media, the media and the society are in trouble”.
Mohammed noted that the essence of the campaign is to ”sensitise all Nigerians on the dangers posed to the peace and security, and indeed the corporate existence of Nigeria by the phenomenon, and the fact that each and every Nigerian have a role to play in curtailing the spread of fake news”.
He explained that the Federal Government has been calling national attention to the issue of fake news and hate speeches since last year.
``The timing of the launch is also not unconnected to the role of fake news in aggravating the various crises in the country as well as the need to check this phenomenon ahead of the 2019 elections,” he said.
The minister said the government would use all the information dissemination tools at its disposal, work with both the traditional and social media as well as the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to sensitize Nigerians.
He said the campaign will, however, not involve the use of coercion and censorship, but appealed to the media to lead the campaign and to Nigerians not to share any news or message unless they can vouch for its source and authenticity