The Governor of Cross River State, Senator Bassey Otu, has charged youths on the responsible use of social media in shaping positive narratives about the state, adding that it is a channel for fake news.
The governor gave the charge when members of the leadership of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Cross River State chapter, conferred on him as grand patron of youths during a courtesy visit in Government House, Calabar on Monday (Sept. 25).
The governor noted that social media is a powerful tool in information dissemination but is also now a channel for misinformation, rumourmongering and fake news by young users.
“The usage of social media in information dissemination helps people stay connected and share ideas, thoughts, and opinions with others in a safe and secure environment. Unfortunately, misinformation, disinformation, and fake news are common challenges confronting us through the platform. Social media is filled with a large amount of misinformation, which often misleads the public to make wrong decisions, stimulates negative public emotions, and poses serious threats to public safety and social order.
“The youth, a primary arm of society is the driving force on social media, and we have witnessed how misinformation from this sector has caused various problems to the society.
“As a government, we are concerned about reshaping the usage of this platform for the benefit of government and to foster productive development. I charge you to use social media to promote useful information aimed at developing society and supporting the government.
“The youths represent the greatest segment of government. If you don’t build and mentor the youths, there is no future. As a government, we cannot rise without your maximum cooperation. We will support the youths in all sectors and frontiers. We are starting by training over 2,000 youths in ICT. We will continue to work with the youths to develop the state,” Otu said.
Speaking earlier, the chairman of the state’s youth council chapter, Comrade Dan Obo, commended Governor Otu on his development stride and for giving a significant number of youths opportunities in his administration.
“We are here to celebrate you, we are excited with the way the state is running and want to thank you for the engagements of youths in your cabinet. We are confident of the successes that await Cross River State in the coming days under your leadership,” Obo stated.