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Fake news phenomenon: My Wikipedia was altered and it was claimed I originated from Mali – El-Rufai



Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has urged the federal government to enact a law that would grant states the jurisdiction to prosecute cases of fake news and hate speech.

He made the call when Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, visited him on the sidelines of the  47th meeting of the National Council on Information with the theme ‘Tackling Fake News And Hate Speech To Enhance Peace And National Unity’.

He said the current law in the country only grants the Federal High Court’s jurisdiction to handle cases of fake news.

The governor, who said he had a personal experience with fake news, said his Wikipedia was altered and his nationality was changed, stating he was from Bamako, Mali.

He said, “The recent crisis we had in Kaduna metropolis at Kasuwan Magani was largely as a result of hate speech. The second round of crisis that affected many in Kaduna metropolis started with rumours circulating that the abducted chief had been killed and within an hour, 22 people had been killed,” he said.

El-Rufai assured he would ensure that all those involved in spreading hate speech are brought to book, including an Abuja-based pastor and a Lagos-based journalist, stressing that conveyors of fake news must not be allowed to go free as they should be made to bear the consequences of their actions.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed said fake news had become the most difficult challenge confronting the country  as it is the most potent weapon in the hands of the opposition party in the run-off to the 2019 general elections.

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