Government Media Aides and Information Warfare

In this digital age, the disinformation warfare against the government is so massive and underrated that sometimes we may have this erroneous impression that it is only the appointed media aides of a President for instance, that can win the warfare. Unfortunately, it is more complicated than that.

Due to the very free media space and the large ecosystem the social media provides in Nigeria, the disinformation battlefield is, therefore, wide with many players that are actively seeking every possible means to undermine the government. Fake news or disinformation is the cheapest tool available to them, and it takes minutes to circulate.

We need to understand that the opposition, made up of at least three branches, is still in election mode, and their notion of opposition politics is basically peddling fake news or propagating false narratives. All it takes for a false narrative to trend, is just to post a captivating anti-government headline that will attract the members of the opposition. They lash onto it and further twist the fake news to generate more outrage even when they know it’s false. Sometimes, this misinformation takes hold despite the media aides of the government proactively dishing the right information beforehand. But mischievous people who are still bitter about their electoral defeat choose what they want to believe.

In this kind of situation, there is no amount of appointed media aides that will be sufficient to completely neutralise that misinformation agenda or enter into the minds of people who don’t want anything good to come out of this government and tell them to acknowledge the truth. This is where we need to appeal to supporters of the President to understand that this is a joint effort that requires all those who believe in the President to participate in the warfare and ensure that the TRUE NARRATIVE prevails at all times.

For example, on this Samoa Agreement, 30 African countries signed the deal including deeply religious states like Egypt but it is only in Nigeria that some media houses (induced by opposition politicians) decided to misinterpret and actively misinform the people to further their agenda. In this case, every patriotic Nigerian is required to help the media aides push back, and on this Samoa issue, I can proudly say we achieved that.

The appointed media aides of the President and that of the government generally, will continue to innovate and evolve to try and stay ahead of the tactics of agents that seek to sow only discord and incitement through fake news. This is where proactiveness comes in, of course. Government policies will continue to be broken down into the simplest details that Nigerians would understand. In fact, language broadcasts are now common features of the government information dissemination strategy, but it needs all our efforts to spread effectively to all corners of the media space. The media aides would not be everywhere.

There will also be improvements in the area of getting government agencies to release necessary information about their activities and policies to government media aides so that they can be communicated to the people as quickly as possible. This will reduce the window for conjectures by fake news merchants who always find willing partners in some rogue media platforms and social media influencers.

This is a warfare that requires a lot of volunteers. It’s a marathon, and we must all partake in that if we believe in Mr. President and his government. Volunteering to help spread the truth doesn’t mean you can’t criticise the government. These are two different jobs and can go on simultaneously.

Also, it is necessary to point out that there is a well-oiled media campaign by Atiku Abubakar’s supporters to instigate a media war between northerners and southerners. They present themselves as spokespersons of the North and make generalising statements not rooted in facts but bigotry. Supporters of the President, especially in the South, must be wary of these people and resist the bait to mistake them for the North and launch verbal missiles against the entire North. This is what they expect to achieve, but patriotic Nigerians should see their antics and treat them squarely as Atiku Abubakar foot soldiers out to heat up the polity.

Let’s join hands and win this information warfare!

Dada Olusegun

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