From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
The press secretary to Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State, Christian Aburime, has restated that with the various landmark achievements of the governor in different sectors of the state in his first year in office, candidates of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) deserve overwhelming victory in the March 18 state legislative elections in Anambra.
Aburime in a public statement released on Wednesday, titled “Fake news, propaganda and misinformation as threats to good governance and societal stability”, noted that information can either unite people or divide them, depending on how it is disseminated and interpreted.
He recalled that throughout history, the power of information has been recognised as a crucial tool in shaping societal stability, but he regretted that the advent of digital technology has brought with it a new kind of information warfare, with the proliferation of fake news, propaganda and misinformation posing significant dangers to both government and societal stability.
Aburime stated that one of the most significant dangers of fake news and misinformation is the potential for it to undermine the credibility of government institutions and elected officials, a situation he noted could lead to a breakdown in trust between citizens and their government, which is vital for maintaining a stable and functioning democracy.
He said if people no longer believe that their government is acting in their best interests, they may be less likely to comply with laws and regulations, leading to societal chaos.
“Fake news, propaganda and misinformation can also fuel polarisation and conflict within society. This is currently manifesting in this age of social media, where people can easily sit in the comfort of their homes to create and share content that confirms their pre-existing biases and beliefs. This creates an echo chamber where people are exposed only to information that supports their worldview, be it political, ethnic or religious, leading to a lack of empathy and understanding for those with different perspectives.
“Such is the manner of proliferation of politically motivated fake news and misinformation spiralling out of control in Anambra State these days that calls for concern. The trend, if not checked, is dangerous, alarming and can scuttle the appreciable progress being made under the current state government led by our indefatigable governor, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo.”
He noted, for instance, the latest fabricated bout of fake news and misinformation being spewed out from the factory of mischief makers that Governor Soludo vowed never to work with elected members of the State House of Assembly who are not APGA members.
He recalled also that the governor was also accused of threatening to oppress any opposition lawmaker in Anambra State, noting that those spurious insinuations are conveyed in doctored online videos making the rounds and recycled by unsuspecting people.
Aburime said there is no iota of truth in those viral videos, describing them as pure fake news products meant to cause public disaffection and run down the APGA government.
“The trending video that went viral few days back is nothing but [a] cooked-up attempt by some mischief makers to incite ndi Anambra against the state government and score cheap political points, especially with the frenzy of the upcoming House of Assembly election in the state on Saturday March 18, 2023.”
He said that without grandstanding, Governor Soludo could never have made such provocative statements attributed to him because he is a law-abiding democrat and a civilised gentleman. He also noted that as a governor elected by the popular will of ndi Anambra a year ago, he has been working as a leader for everybody, no matter their clannish or political affiliations.
“Along with the monumental infrastructure projects going on in Anambra State today with the 265km of road constructions, [the] massive employment of 5,000 teachers in the education sector, empowerment of 5,000 youth via the ‘One Youth, Two Skill’ programme, the over 350 doctors and nurses recently employed to boost the health sector, the massive ‘operation light up Anambra’ that is on-going and the vastly improved security situation that reflected in the peaceful February 25 elections in the state deserve commendations. These are some of the sterling achievements of Governor Soludo.”
He said that in view of the foregoing, APGA candidates are indeed deserving of being massively voted for in the March 18 State House of Assembly election.
“When ndi Anambra support APGA candidates to win the majority votes in the State House of Assembly election, it will help the state government to sustain the progress made so far with infrastructural development across the state. So, ndi Anambra, it is in our collective best interest of sustainable development to stop spreading fake news and support the government of Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo,” he stated.