South Eastern Alliance for Democracy and Progress (SEADP) has cautioned media practitioners to stop using their platform to deliberately spread fake news for cheap propaganda and pecuniary benefits. The group dropped this hint in Enugu after a one- day interactive session on the role of media in the fight against insecurity in the country. According to a statement released to the media by group’s Secretary-General Dr Jideofor Nzekwe, the group affirmed that media has a constitutional role in a democracy which must be discharged according to the law.
The group frowned at those they described as media practitioners who use fake news to promote instability across the country. The group gave an example of Jackson Ude, who is said to be a publisher of an online news platform, Pointblanknews. The statement described the New York-based publisher as a known scammer who has been in the business of blackmail, smear attacks and extortion for more than twenty years. The group further confirmed that regrettably, Mr Ude who was a former aide to former President Jonathan does not hide the fact that he is in a mission to demonize the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari by posting irresponsible online propaganda.
The group further observed that the Publisher has recently carried false stories on his platform Pointblanknews, calculated to tarnish the image of key appointees of Buhari government including Prof. Charles Dokubo, Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Program on the Niger Delta, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, Minister of Transportation among others. According to the group’s scribe, this Jackson Ude leads a despicable gang of blackmailers who keep on spreading lies, half-truths and outright fabrications to get undeserved attention. On several occasions, according to the statement “this man and his group have made unsubstantiated claims of phantom corruption charges and imaginary contract awards against their targets just to tarnish the image of these appointees”.
“We are aware that many politicians have been victims of this brand of defamatory, irresponsible and gangster journalism. We are warning every discerning member of the public especially those in the social media to beware of his falsehood. However, the painful thing is that Mr Ude and his unpatriotic cohorts are doing these damages abroad and their actions have potentially negative implications on the image of our dear country. This fugitive deserves to be prosecuted and handed appropriate punishment as a warning to others” the statement read.
The group consequently called on all security agencies especially the Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA) and International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) to watch out for him so that he can bring home to face justice. It was confirmed that a formal petition in this regard has been despatched to all relevant agencies home and abroad to ensure that Mr Ude and his collaborators are placed on a watchlist.
The South East Alliance for Democracy and Progress is a group of the not-for-profit organisation across the states in the old southeastern region that is working together to promote democracy and stability through grassroots-based initiatives. The interactive session was attended by 65 journalists and media practitioners from the region.Read Full Story