The Zamfara State government has issued a warning to journalists over fake news and unguided utterances and said that any reporter with unverified news would risk going to jail.
Addressing a joint press briefing with the Commissioner for Information, Police commissioner, Director State Security Service and commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps on Thursday at the police command headquarters in Gusau, the Zamfara State Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Magaji Dosara said the state government will no longer tolerate fake news reports in the state.
According to Dosara, the decision was part of the state government’s resolution during its security meeting.
You are all living witnesses of the difficult terrain the present administration of Governor Bello Mattawale was crossing in terms of security.”
He maintained that the state government has realised that media practitioners, especially social media have been undermining the effort of the state government by reporting fake news which can jeopardise the peace process in the state.
“Cognisant of fake news, unguided utterances by members of both conventional and the social media, the Zamfara State government among its resolution recently adopted to take appropriate action against unprofessional conduct in media practice.”
He said government has realised that the print and electronic media activities, especially the social media handlers undermine the peace process in the state.
“Let me emphasise here that the state government will never continue to condone the unwholesome act.”
Dosara said he and security chiefs in the state have been directed to monitor the conduct of media practitioners in the state.
The information commissioner, however, said the news briefing was not intended to castigate or embarrass any journalist in the state.
“The Zamfara State government still holds lots of you (pressmen) in great esteem because of your work that is strictly according to the ethics of your profession.”