Fake, biased news causing disunity in Nigeria – Pantami


The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ibrahim Pantami, has said that fake and biased news are the major causes of disunity in the country.

Pantami urged Nigerians, particularly media practitioners to eschew the spread of fake news.

He made these declarations at the 3rd Anniversary of Muslim News Nigeria held in Lagos at the weekend.

Present at the event included Alhaji Femi Abbas, Barrister Ibrahim Yakubu Umar, Dr. Saliu Oyelami, former Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr Abdul Lateef AbdulHakeem; Amirah of the Federation of Muslim Women Associations of Nigeria, Hajiah Rafiah Sanni and former Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Lagos Chapter, Dr Qasim Akinreti.

Others are MD/CEO of Complete Sports, Alhaji Mumuni Alao; Alhaji Tajudeen Uzamat and Chairman, Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter, Barr. Ajibola Kaka.

Pantami, while speaking, called on all Nigerians, irrespective of religion or tribe to always speak the truth and promote goodness.

The Minister also chaired the event said that Islam denounces fake news.

He added that there is no place in the Qur’an and Hadith that encourages spread of falsehood.

“Fake and biased news is one of the issues causing disunity in our country.

“Irrespective of our religion or tribe, we must try to promote goodness, speak the truth, do what is right and encourage others to do what is right. In all the verses of the Qur’an, there is no place Allah agreed with fake news.

“For example, if you look at Suratul Hujuraat, Q.49; verse 6, Allah draws our attention to the need for investigating.

“The Qur’an says, Oh you who believe, if an evil person comes to you with any news, investigate so that you will not harm people out of ignorance and thereafter you regret your action.

“This verse is the foundation of the fight against fake news. As Muslims, even if someone attacks us with fake news, we must not respond to him with same. Rather we should be objective and fair to him.

“For our friends who are in the media, they should always abide by this rule of investigating. This goes beyond the ethics of journalism. It is part of the ethics of Islam as a religion. If we can comply with this, we will make Nigeria a better place for all.

“Furthermore, if you look at Suratu-n-Nuur, Q. 24, Allah espoused to us the dangers of fake news, particularly what was attributed mischievously to the mother of the believers, Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her). When Abdullah Ibn Ubay Ibn Saluul, the leader of the hypocrites spread fake news against Aisha, saying that she committed an illegal sexual relationship with Safwaan, our beloved Prophet directed Aisha to go back to her father’s house and wait until Allah reveals a message about her situation.”

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