The Federal Government has expressed strong disapproval of the unverified security alert recently issued on Nigeria by some embassies in the country.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, decried the act at a Ministerial Panel of the ongoing UNESCO Media and Information Literacy Week in Abuja.
In a presentation titled: “National Media and Information Literacy Frameworks, Sustaining Beyond Disinformation”, as a panellist at the UNESCO session on the topic, the minister remarked that the alert created unnecessary tension and panic in the country.
“The warning, issued by the embassies, is not the true position of the security situation in Nigeria,” Mohammed said.
The minister also condemned the media outfits which fed on the unverified security alert to attract traffic to their site without considering the effects on the country.
“Some media outlets and social media personalities are usually caught spreading unverified information on their platforms just for clickbait and the attendant monetary gain.
“Talking of clickbait, this may be what informed the spread of the supposed security alert issued recently by some foreign Embassies in Nigeria.
“One would imagine that, if indeed this kind of security alert was issued, it was for the attention of citizens of the issuing countries in Nigeria.
“Suddenly, this alert found its way into the media, both new and traditional, thus creating panic in the polity.
“Schools were shut, businesses were closed, travel plans were altered and lives were disrupted; no one cared to find out about the authenticity of these alerts.
“They just published, got the benefit of massive clickbait and damned the consequences.”
He reiterated his position that the country “is safer today than at any time in recent times”, with the efforts and sacrifices of the military.
Mohammed said that the security forces had been proactive, and “as far as insecurity is concerned, the worst is over for Nigeria”.
He, therefore, urged Nigerians not to panic but to be alert at all times.
“We do not discountenance the fact that terrorists, bandits and their kind will always want to do whatever it takes to disrupt our nation’s peace, security and stability.
“Terrorists have been hard hit and put on the run; bandits have been decimated and scattered,” he boasts.