Ninety-four days to the general elections, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has declared support for the fight against fake news in Nigeria.
The party made this known in a statement on Wednesday by Lanre Issa-Onilu, its National Publicity Secretary.
With the rise in the dissemination of fake news, media practitioners, lawyers, technology experts, free speech campaigners and others have expressed fear on the effects while seeking ways to get rid of it.
In recent time, politicians have been accused of using fake news to deal with their opponents.
“The All Progressives Congress (APC) supports ongoing global media attention and efforts to check the proliferation of fake news particularly as the country gears up for campaigns ahead of the 2019 elections,” Mr Issa-Onilu said.
The party said the consequences of fake news are often dire as it “inflames perceived divisions in communities, fuels hate speech, leads to violence and distorts democratic processes, among others.”
APC accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of using fake news in its campaigns, saying it was not surprised as it believes it is an effort by the opposition party to evade scrutiny.
It also said PDP is not a party to either be trusted or taken seriously as it has missed out on the opportunity to apologise and show remorse for the alleged cruelty it wrought on the country while in power.
“Disturbingly, the country’s main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its discredited agents, have continued to deploy the loathsome strategy of fake news, misinformation and distortion of facts as focal campaign strategies for the 2019 elections.
“Instead of engaging the electorate on serious issues of development such as health, education, economy, foreign policy, security, corruption, pension, job creation, infrastructure development among others, the PDP and its agents have chosen to populate the mainstream and social media space with ludicrous fake news and infantile conspiracy theories, moving from one absurdity to another.”
The party said while the PDP was at its alleged game of using fake news, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration was busy building a new Nigeria for the collective progress, peace, unity and prosperity of Nigerians.
PREMIUM TIMES was yet to get a response from the opposition party at the time of this report. PDP spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, asked for time go through the statement by the APC.