- The federal government has said the farmers-herders clashes have no religious or ethnic colouration
- The minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, blamed population explosion, effects of climate change and other factors for the clashes
- Mohammed also blamed the clashes on the dual challenge of fake news and hate speech
The federal government has said the farmers-herders clashes in Nigeria have no religious or ethnic colouration.
This was the submission of the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, during a presentation at The Chatham House in London on Wednesday, October 17.
Alhaji Mohammed said the clashes have become more persistent, because of a mixture of many factors, including population explosion, effects of climate change, keener contest for dwindling natural resources and sheer criminality.
“Religion and ethnicity are not the reasons for these clashes,” he added.
He blamed the escalation of the clashes on the dual challenge fake news and hate speech.
“Pictures of gun-totting herdsmen from other lands are routinely used to depict the herdsmen in Nigeria. Age-long clashes between farmers and herders have suddenly been dressed in the garb of religion and ethnicity,” he lamented.
He, however, informed his audience that the federal government has launched a national campaign against fake news and hate speech.
His words: “The aim is to sensitize Nigerians to the dangers posed by fake news, how to spot fake news and what to do.
“We are under no illusion that the campaign can immediately stop fake news and hate speech. But we want to bring the issues to the front burner of national discourse. And I can say that we are succeeding in that respect.
“Today, fake news has become a topical issue in Nigeria. To Nigerians, we say: If you can’t vouch for the veracity of any news item, don’t share it!”
Meanwhile, political economist and management expert, Professor Patrick Utomi, on Monday, October 15, expressed concern that Nigerian politics if left unchecked would be in danger of being infiltrated by criminals.
Professor Utomi made the comment in Abuja at the High Level Public-Private Sector Forum, with the theme: “Democracy that Delivers.”
Professor Utomi said: “One of the most frustrating things about Nigeria today is that most of those in public offices don’t have the capacity for where they are. There is no talent profile to determine who should be where. Most of them don’t have the foggiest clue what it takes to provide the environment to make the country prosperous.”
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