The National Librarian, National Library of Nigeria, Prof. Lenrie Aina has urged Nigerians to imbibe reading culture, to curb the menace of fake news in the country.
Aina gave the advice in an interview, in Abuja on Friday.
He noted that fake news was on the increase because Nigerians do not read.
“Like I have always said, any learned society is very easy to rule.
“It is easier to rule a society that is knowledgeable, than a society that depends on oral.
“ And, that is why you can see that fake news is becoming prevalent in Nigeria because people do not read.
“ If you read, there is no reason for you to just believe anything that you hear because you can always look for other sources to confirm whether it is correct or not.
“So, we also believe that this reading culture will assist in combating this fake news problem we have in Nigeria today.’’
Aina further advised Nigerians especially the youth, to read and be informed about everything that happens around them.
“We just want to let them know that whether they are school children or not, you must be knowledgeable.
“In Nigeria today, people are only knowledgeable in their areas of specialisation, but that is not complete education, in the complete education you must have an idea of everything.
“Look at what is trending now on this Chief Justice Saga, some people do not even know what it is all about.
“So, if it is a knowledgeable society, everybody will follow what is going on and be able to make an informed opinion.
“ And, that is exactly what we are trying to say, please have a knowledge of everything that is happening around you, everything that makes you a complete human being.
“For example, people do not even know that when a woman is pregnant, it takes nine months, what are the things that you should do?
“ These are the general knowledge that we are talking about, that people should know.
“But, because like I said it is an oral society, secondary school students once they write their WAEC, NECO that is the end.
“We are now saying NO! Until you get to your grave you must be reading, right from the time you are born till you are buried.
“So, that is exactly what we are trying to promote.’’
Aina who said technology had improved the reading culture among youths, however, said they spend more time listening to music, playing games and watching films.
He said that people could go beyond reading physical books to reading electronic books, noting that the two were complementary.
Aina further said the reason e-books were not widely accepted in Nigeria, was because readers do not have sophisticated gadgets to access them.
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