The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ibrahim Pantami, has said that false and biased news are the main causes of disunity in the country.
Pantami urged Nigerians, particularly media professionals, to avoid spreading fake news.
He made the remarks on the third anniversary of Muslim News Nigeria held in Lagos over the weekend.
Present at the event were Alhaji Femi Abbas, lawyer Ibrahim Yakubu Umar, Dr. Saliu Oyelami, former Lagos State Commissioner for Internal Affairs, Dr. Abdul Lateef AbdulHakeem; Amirah from the Nigerian Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations, Hajiah Rafiah Sanni and former President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Lagos Chapter, Dr. Qasim Akinreti.
Others are Complete Sports CEO and CEO Alhaji Mumuni Alao; Alhaji Tajudeen Uzamat and President of the Nigerian Muslim Lawyers Association, Lagos Branch, Barr. Ajibola Kaka.
Pantami, as he spoke, exhorted all Nigerians, regardless of religion or tribe, to always tell the truth and promote goodness.
The minister who also presided over the event said that Islam denounces fake news.
He added that there is nowhere in the Quran and Hadith that encourages the spread of falsehood.
“False and biased news are one of the issues that cause disunity in our country.
“Regardless of our religion or tribe, we should try to promote goodness, speak the truth, do the right thing, and encourage others to do the right thing. In all the verses of the Qur’an, there is no place where Allah agrees with the fake news.
“For example, if you look at Suratul Hujuraat, Q.49; verse 6, Allah draws our attention to the need to investigate.
“The Quran says: Oh, you who believe, if an evil person comes to you with some news, investigate so that you do not hurt people out of ignorance and then 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 should not respond with it. Rather we should be objective and fair to him.
“For our friends who are in the media, they must always abide by this investigative rule. This goes beyond the ethics of journalism. It is part of the ethics of Islam as a religion. If we can deliver on this, we will make Nigeria a better place for everyone.
Also, if we look at Suratu-n-Nuur, Q. 24, Allah warned us about the dangers of false news, particularly those maliciously attributed 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 false news against Aisha, saying that she had committed an illegal sexual relationship with Safwaan, our beloved Prophet ordered Aisha to return to her father’s house and wait until Allah reveal a message about her. situation.”