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Abuse of social media: Tinubu requests that the Minister of Information bring back discipline and national values among Nigerians

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    The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has criticised some of the social media handlers disseminating information, saying most of them are lacking in professionalism and highly unpatriotic.

    Idris, who failed to list the online platforms breaching the ethics of the journalism profession, however, noted that the administration of President Bola Tinubu would not gag any media organisation but rather would remain committed to ensuring responsible journalism.

    Idris said this on Wednesday after a closed-door meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

    He said his principal, Mr President, is saddled with the responsibility of renewing the confidence of Nigerians in the country, hence will soon initiate a national dialogue on orientation and reorientation, with the goal of re-establishing Nigerians’ trust in their nation.

    Fielding questions from State House correspondents on managing the excesses of social media, the minister said responsible journalism is the way to go.

    “While the government and Mr President and all of us in that sector are committed to ensuring that there’s press freedom. That freedom, like I said, comes with responsibility. A lot of things that some of these people on social media are doing are also not very patriotic. Sometimes you say news that is not factual.

    “But I don’t want a situation where it will be seen that the government is trying to gag the press. I want that to be underscored. There is no attempt by the government to gag the press. We’re going to do whatever it takes that is responsible and accountable. Responsible journalism is the way to go”

    Speaking further, the Minister also bemoaned the citizens lost of values and general lack of trust in their nation, saying the development was working against the dreams and aspirations of the leaders.

    He emphasized that the administration of President Tinubu is actively working to reintroduce the values of discipline, patriotism, and a belief in the nation’s ideals that were instilled by the founding fathers.

    Idris stressed that this will herald a fresh perspective in the roles of the Federal Ministry of Information and will place national orientation at its core.

    “Mr President has given me a matching order to see that Nigerians believe in this country once again, we’re coming up with national discourse on orientation or reorientation. So that Nigerians can believe in their country. You know that people don’t believe even leaders that they themselves have elected. Flags are not flying anymore. You go to government overseas, you don’t even see the symbol of our collective existence, flying even in public buildings.

    “We’re bringing that about; we are bringing back this concept of discipline that Nigerians should have. Patriotism. Belief in the nationhood that our founding fathers have told us so it is going to be a new Minister of Information and national orientation and national orientation is going to be at the centre of it,” the minister added.

    Idris also disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation is in the process of formulating a comprehensive plan to revitalise the sector, an initiative he said is targeted at restoring Nigerians’ faith in their country.

    “The national orientation agency has offices in the 774 LGAs. Of course there’s efficiency now, not all the people who will man these local government offices are there, but we are rebuilding that.

    “We are going to put officers around all the 774 LGAs and we are coming up with a roadmap that will revamp that sector so that Nigerians can believe in their country once again,” the minister noted.


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