President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday called on the media in the country to make an extra effort to report actual and reliable information and avoid fake news stories.
A statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), Garba Shehu, speaking during a courtesy call by Jamie Angus, the Executive Director of the BBC World Service at the State House in Abuja, President Buhari said facts must form the basis of all news reports.
He congratulated the BBC for the high reputation they earned through difficult times, such as the period of the Nigerian civil war.
The President noted that by devoting time and resources to research into their stories before going public with them, “the BBC has earned a reputation for being an impartial news medium that is relied upon by the people for correct information about events and happenings.”
He commended their sacrifices in conveying news and information to the vast communities in Hausa across the Sahel region, and their recent commencement of broadcasts, from Nigeria, of news and programming in Igbo, Yoruba and Pidgin.
The BBC team explained their plans for coverage of the upcoming elections in the country, including state gubernatorial debates.
The team also spoke about the elaborate deployment of correspondents in the states for elections as well the just concluded conference sponsored by the broadcasting organisation to tackle the growing menace of fake news.