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By Henry Ubus
Social media influencers have been advised to thoroughly verify their information before publishing it inorder not to mislead the public. This advise was imparted during the 30th Edition of the Nigerian Army Social Media Influencers Seminar held on Tuesday, 28 November 2023.
The seminar was organized by the Army Headquarters, Department of Civil-Military Affairs in collaboration with Ukan Kurugh Foundation, held at Platinum Banquet Place, Warri, Delta State with the theme “Countering the spread of decisive content on social media: a collective responsibility.”
Various speakers highlighted that fake news has the potential to mislead and manipulate people, erode trust in media, fuel misinformation, and contribute to the spread of rumors. Furthermore, they emphasized that fake news can have real-world consequences, influencing public opinion, policy decisions, and even causing harm in specific situations.
While declaring the seminar open, General Officer Commanding, 6 Division, Nigerian Army/Land Component Commander, Joint Task Force, South South, Operation DELTA SAFE, Major General Jamal Abdussalam who was the Special Guest of Honour, revealed that the Seminar was targeted at improving the Nigerian Army’s engagements with social media influencers, bloggers, media practitioners, youths as well as the general public. He added that the Nigerian Army recognizes the positive impact of the media in shaping people’s perspective, influences trends, and serves as a powerful tool that contributes towards improving security. He stressed that this kind of seminar across selected locations in the country with the aim of inspiring, motivating, educating, and promoting its positive values.
Major General Abdussalam further urged participants to remain authentic, genuine, and true to the values of our founding father, adding that they must not abuse the privilege to positively influence and impact their audience for a collective good. He said the peace being enjoyed in Delta State is as a result of the collective cooperation and support of all to the Nigerian Army (NA).
The CCMA further stated that nation building requires the inputs of all citizens just like provision of security, adding that joint responsibility also extends to actions and inactions of the society, especially in this information age, where technological advancements plays a significant role.
On his part, Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Delta State Governor, Mr. Nelson Egware, emphasized the reciprocal support between Nigerians and the Nigerian. He highlighted the Delta State government’s substantial investment in social media, recognizing its contemporary importance. Egware urged practitioners to verify information before sharing on social media to maintain peace in the nation and Delta State. The event featured lecture presentations, interactive sessions, souvenirs, and group photographs.