By Ifeyinwa Okonkwo
Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has expressed dismay at the increasing rate of negative and fake news being peddled against the state government especially in the social media.
Ugwuanyi made this known in Enugu on Wednesday when he received the management of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) led by its Acting Managing Director, Mr Idris Abdulrahman at the Government House.
The governor cited recent misinformation peddled in the social media about a military helicopter that dropped weapon for herdsmen to attack the state and the entire South East zone.
Ugwuanyi said that such fake news was capable of causing havoc not only in the state but the zone at large.
According to him, the south east is a very important geopolitical zone in the country and Enugu State is one of the fastest growing economies in the country.
The governor urged NAN to use its platform to fight against fake news that caused damage to the country’s image.
“We need a platform like NAN that has a very wide reach to diffuse fake news in the country,’’ he said.
While congratulating NAN on its 40 years anniversary, the governor pledged to partner with the agency in its activities especially the multimedia and other products.
Ugwuanyi also urged the agency to embark in development journalism by reaching out to rural dwellers and give them voice and sense of belonging.
Earlier, the Ag Managing Director of NAN, Mr Abdulrahman congratulated the governor on his re-election for a second term and expressed its willingness to support his administration.
According to Abdulrahman, Enugu State is very important to NAN as the headquarters of the old Eastern region and the South East geopolitical zone.
The Acting MD, who is also the Editor in Chief of NAN, said the agency would soon establish the newly introduced multimedia unit in Enugu after Abuja and Lagos to give the state adequate coverage.
He explained that the multimedia was a one stop shop that involved audio and visual coverage of events.
Abdulrahman also informed the governor that the agency at 40, had offices in all the 36 states of the federation with its headquarters in Abuja as well as foreign offices in the US and the United Kingdom among others.
He thanked the governor for the warm reception accorded the management and pledged to support his administration and counter fake stories about the state and the country in general.