The Joint National Action Civil Society Coalition has denounced as fake news the story of the summary trial and execution of six Christian soldiers of Igbo extraction within the Nigerian Army which has been reported in the media, dismissing it as a tool of distraction and division by malignant agents.
On the 2nd of February, 2021, A “coalition of rights activists and scholars” put out a press statement detailing the execution of 6 soldiers by the Nigerian Army. Our findings reveal that the said report lacks credibility and truth. At a time when the country is going through endemic security challenges, fragile community relations, a pandemic and other grueling issue, it is foolhardy to spread fake news that would only foster ethnoreligious division among the people.
We, therefore, call on the parties responsible for fielding this subterfuge to desist from spreading such, as fake news has immense potential to undermine the trust in serious media coverage and it would only reduce the people have in authentic news which is dangerous to our democracy and to our co-existence as a people.
We call on the general public to take responsibility in countering misinformation and fake news by fact-checking before they share news items from uncommon sources.
We further call on members of the Nigerian Media to intensify its fact-checking efforts before publishing a story as the pandering of fake news within the media has detrimental effects on the campaign against Nigeria’s shrinking civic space, especially internet and social media freedom. It will be hazardous to unwilfully present the tools of our oppression to those who may seek to stifle and gag us.
Signed on behalf of the Joint National Action Civil Society Coalition