Bauchi Speaker Decries Use of New Media in Spreading Fake News, Receives Arewa Online Publishers Association Award
The Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Abubakar Suleiman (Dangaladiman Ningi) recently in Kaduna state bags the Arewa Online Publishers Association’s Most Friendly Speaker of the Year.
The award was presented to him during the Maiden Public Lecture and Award Presentation with the theme: ‘New Media and National Development’ organized by the association at Arewa House, Kaduna.
Receiving the award, the Speaker thanked the association for finding him worthy to receive the distinguished award.
He explained that he has strong desire for an open Bauchi State House of Assembly with prompt and immediate information flow so that people of Bauchi and other parts of the country will know what their representatives are doing at the legislative arm.
“To ensure this is achieved, I appointed one of you as media aide, a professional journalist with competence and ability to discharge this onerous responsibility” the Speaker said
Rt. Hon. Abubakar Suleiman further said that development in technology which brought social media and online journalism has transformed communication and information dissemination and has given them (politicians) opportunity to reach the citizens with immediacy and receive quick feed back.
On proliferation of fake news via the social media in the country, the Speaker decried how some unpatriotic elements are misusing and abusing the platforms by spreading fake news and hate speech which are capable of tarnishing people’s image and causing disharmony among people in the country.
“Let me give an example with how recently social media space in Bauchi State was thrown into confusion with fake news that my Governor, Sen Bala Mohammad of Bauchi State was stoned or booed at a function in Ningi. I was at the Boarder to receive the Governor we went to the venue of the event together and after the event I escorted him to the Boarder. Nothing of that nature happened but the fake news peddlers comfortably spread this lie.” the Speaker narrated.
He called on all professional journalists, scholars, stakeholders and all patriots to come together and come up with strategy to fight fake news and hate speech in the country.
Rt. Hon. Suleiman commended Arewa Online Publishers Association for coming together to improve modern information dissemination which he said will change the bad narratives about the Northern region that is bedevilled with the consequences of insurgency, poverty and many social ills.
He also called on Northern philanthropists and businessmen to establish media outfits with a view to further protect, project and defend the battered image and interest of the Northern region.
In his speech, the Chairman of the Association, Zakari Ahmed said the Speaker bagged the award because the Association has followed with keen interest, the leadership qualities of the Speaker which has given the State Assembly a new meaning.
“It is on record that you are the first Speaker to appoint a journalist as media aide in the history of Bauchi State House of Assembly. There is prompt information flow from the State Assembly. There is hardly a day you will not read news from Bauchi State House of Assembly in the national dailies and other media platforms.” The Chairman said.
Other recipients of the awards include Governor Bala Mohammad of Bauchi State, Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Emir of Katsina Alhaji abdulmumini Kabir Usman, Dean School of Postgraduate Studies Prof. Umaru Pate, Vice Chancellor Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, among others