Social media, fake news greatest threat to 2023 polls – DSS

As preparation for the 2023 general goes into top gear the Department of State Service (DSS) has identified the social media and fake news as the greatest threat to the forthcoming elections.

This is the service has warned the media against engaging in mischief or indulging in activities that would create disharmony in the country.

DSS Public Relations Officer (PRO), Dr Peter Afunanya, while addressing journalists, at the DSS headquarters, Wednesday in Abuja, he warned against escalating the threats to the general elections.

The spokesperson, who noted that social media and fake news have caused violence of high magnitude in the country, said the media was critical at a time like this and would have to play critical role in political stability.

He said journalists must always fact check information before publishing, pointing out that verification was important because retraction doesn’t change already published information.

“Soon there will be elections and political programmes have started so what the media and every stakeholder must do is to ensure that the game is played according to rules.

“Nigerians must shun every act that promotes hate and disintegration and will make us live in distrust and disunity. We must educate our families on how to be vigilant and watch out for one another and pas critical information to security agencies.

“We must understand that Nigeria is the only country we have and every one must put hands on deck to ensure that there is peace. The media should be up and doing in ensuring the peace is restored in the country.

“I want to assure that the DSS won’t abdicate its responsibilities and would continue to do the right thing no matter whose ox is gored,” he further stated.

Unveiling the campaign massages produced in English, Igbo, Hausa and Yourba languages, Afunanya said: “Nigerians, elections are here again. Let us shun violence. Let us play the game according to the rules. Do not be a thug, say no to violence. Let us rise to defeat violence, crime, sabotage against the peace of our nation.

“Nigeria is the only country we have we must do everything to keep it united. We must avoid any act that promotes hate and disintegration. Say no to separatist movement, terrorism, fake news, religious bigotry and any act that tends to divide us as a nation.”

Speaking further he said: “To pass security information call 08132222105, 09153391309, 09088373514, or send a mail to [email protected].”