Department of the State Security Service (DSS) has called on the media and social bloggers to ensure they publish stories that are factual and not such that could incite or disunite members of the public.
The Director of DSS Imo Command, Owerri, Mrs Iquo Arthur-Worrey gave the adivice in her office on Monday in a chat with the Executive members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Imo Council, led by the Chairman, Comrade Chris Akaraonye.
The SSS Director was reacting to incessant fake and uncomfirmed stories that had perverted the air waves and the purported attack on the Imo Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma by angry youths of Mmahu community in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo on Sunday.
She observed that such news were capable of disorganising the people, creating crisis and choas, distablising the state as well as causing disaffection among members of the public.
She noted that the story about the attack on the governor of Imo state and his consequent excape from assasination, especially on the social media, was a current case in point, adding that the story was short from being the true postion of events.
“The story as put out on the internet is full of lies and half truths. We cannot continue to feed and misinform the public with lies and unfounded news stories. They are capable of inciting and pitching the people against themselves and government of the day,” she said.
Arthur-Worrey appealed to the NUJ to sensitise its members on the need to always carry objective and balanced news stories of events especially as it concerns the government and those in authority.
She also adivised the union to call the bloggers to order and device a means to punish offenders to serve as deterrent to others.
“There is need to curb the execesses of the bloggers and fake journalists in the state who decieve unsuspecting members of the puplic who tend to believe all they say in the papers. Their actions are creating tension in the land.
“We also have the understanding that most of the bloggers are politically motivated. So we urge the union to always advice and direct their members aright and sift the wheat from the chaff for a heathy society devoid of crisis,” she said.
Earlier, the NUJ Chairman, Akaraonye commended the director for the well reception accorded his members.
He said that the union had set up a disciplinary committee to curb the incidents of quackery in the state adding that those involved in the fake news are not NUJ members.
He said that most of the bloggers have their backing from some politicians who use them to satisfy their negative tendencies and ambitions, while the fake journalists aid in the circulation of the unconfirmed stories through different platforms.
Akaraonye noted that the issue of security concerns every Nigerian and thanked the SSS for expressing their concern which he prommised to take to the union members.