- Chief of Army staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, says fake news is to be blamed for the increasing cases of electoral violence
- The Army chief said social media is being used by terrorists and subversive elements to deliberately spread fake news
- Buratai, however, insisted that nothing would stop the Army from playing its roles in combating security challenges in the country
Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, chief of Army staff, says fake news is to be blamed for the increasing cases of electoral violence.
Speaking in Bayelsa state during the inauguration of projects at the newly-established barracks of the 16th Division of the Nigerian Army named Camp Buratai, the Army boss said fake news poses a grave danger to the democratic process and military operations, The Guardian reports.
Legit.ng gathers that Buratai, who was represented by the commander, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Maj Gen Adamu Saliu, pointed out that he launched Operation Safe Conduct before the 2019 elections to ensure success of the polls.
Buratai added that he established the Nigerian Army Situation Room (NASR) to manage electoral events, including countering the spread of fake news.
The Army chief said social media is being used by terrorists and subversive elements to deliberately spread fake news so as to influence public sentiment, cause confusion and ignite violence.
He said: “Just before the presidential and National Assembly elections, I launched the Nigerian Army Situation Room for real time managing of events during the 2019 general elections.
“This decision was borne out of our previous unpalatable experience occasioned by electoral violence which had now been made worse by fake news.
“At this point, it cannot be overstated that fake news and false propaganda pose a dangerous threat to both democratic process and military operations.
“Use of media, especially social media, to deliberately spread fake news should be a thing of concern to all of us.
“Rapid spread of fake news had been responsible for misinformation, thereby having an influence on public sentiment and sow (sic) confusion among the electorate and easily ignite violence during elections as we have now.
“The purpose of the situation room is, among others, to monitor electioneering process through the cyber warfare command of the Nigerian Army which also identifies and counters various forms of fake news and propaganda put out by terrorists and subversive elements.
“In this period of elections, we are collaborating with all stakeholders to confront the menace of fake news.”
Buratai also insisted that nothing would stop the Army from playing its roles in combating security challenges in the country, in line with its constitutional mandates.
He said: “Nigerian Army will continue to play its role in combating security challenges in the country in line with its constitutional mandates.
“I call on the good people of our nation to provide our men and women in uniform adequate support, especially giving timely information to enable them deliver on the mandate of Operation Safe Conduct as we go into the final lap of the 2019 general election.”
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that a coalition of election observers under the aegis of Coalition of Civil Rights Movement (CCRM) commended the Nigerian military for an exceptional conduct during the 2019 gubernatorial and state Houses of Assembly Elections in Nigeria.
CCRM, in a preliminary report released in Abuja by its executive director, Evelyn Agu, said that after thorough analysis of the polls, the various groups under the coalition absolved the Nigerian military of any wrongdoing, especially in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.
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