Kogi State Governor, central Nigeria, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has challenged media professionals in the country to be proactive in ensuring they bring an end to quacks and hackers.
He cautioned that quacks and hackers should not be allowed to take over the noble profession.
Bello made the calldc at the Nigeria Media Merit Awards (NMMA) held in Government House, Lokoja, the Kogi state capital.
The governor lamented the popular practice of unregulated persons armed with Internet-enabled devices taking over the media space, especially on social media with unverifiable news and information capable of causing more harm in the society.
He said this has had an adverse effect on the society .
“The problem is so endemic that in 2020 alone, statistics show there were 1.
8 billion engagements with fake news on Facebook alone! Nigeria, like many countries, has fallen victim to it many times, sometimes with devastating loss of lives and properties” he said.
Bello described media as inescapable hallmarks of modern society and the custodian of public perception, saying the practitioners must work and function within the ambits of the law to avoid malfunction.
He said: “Practitioners must recognise that due to the incredible powers which society has entrusted to them, there is a corresponding demand for responsibility, ethics and professionalism in the exercise of those powers by journalists” he advised.
He described the Nigerian Media Merit Awards (NMMA) as a veritable tool through which sanity in the industry could be promoted to ensure the real journalists are motivated to do their work professionally.
Bello said his administration would continue to support the media to achieve its goal as the fourth estate of the realm.
Reverend Paul Frank who spoke on building religious tolerance in the state commended Governor Yahaya Bello for providing a level playing ground for all religions to thrive in the state.
Frank explained that the Kogi State Religious Council “is proud of Bello for his spiritual and financial support to all religious bodies in the state.
Bello’s spirit to build a befitting Chapel in Government House is a resounding testimony even though he is a devoted Muslim.
Kogi state Governor calls for end to fake news