FORMER Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has urged Nigerians to shun fake news, hate speech and propaganda ahead of the nation’s 2023 general election.
Jonathan made this remark on Tuesday at the second edition of the ‘peace conference’ organised by the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation with the theme: ‘Nation Building: The Role of Elections in a Multi-ethnic Context’.
The former president noted that hate speech, fake news and propaganda have been identified as the greatest threat to Nigeria’s democracy, and anybody who engages in any of these should be regarded as a threat, just like a gun.
Speaking at the event, the former president said he is very pleased to see that young people are interested in the nation and election matters.
He, however, said hate speech must be discouraged.
“Before this time, we were always afraid of guns as a threat to democracy. But the biggest threat to democracy now is the issue of propaganda, fake news and hate speech,” he said.
“Anybody that’s an advocate of this is a threat to democracy. Our young people should know that we should embrace good conduct that will lead to good elections.”
Speaking further, Jonathan said anybody interested in leadership has the responsibility of protecting the nation.
“We must first have a country before we talk about having a president. If we destroy a country, then we do not need a president,” he said.
Nurudeen Akewushola is a fact-checker with FactCheckHub. He has authored several fact checks which have contributed to the fight against fake news and other forms of information disorder. You can shoot him via email@example.com and @NurudeenAkewus1 via Twitter.