Speaking the Nations Mind

Buhari Worries About Fake News, Says Ogunlesi


Nigeria’s government is concerned about fake news and hate speech being spread via social media in the run-up to elections next year, Tolu Ogunlesi, who is in charge of President Muhammadu Buhari’s social media and digital strategy, has told the BBC.

The information ministry had embarked on a campaign to “sensitise” people to ensure that social media was not used to incite violence in a country where “there are just so many possible nodes of conflict”, he added.

On whether social media would be censored during the election period, Mr Ogunlesi said: “I can safely say that there will be no censorship as far as I know but that doesn’t mean that there are no temptations.”

Mr Ogunlesi made the comments during a BBC panel discussion hosted by Kenyan journalist Waihiga Mwaura, the winner of this year’s BBC World News Komla Dumor Award.

President Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC) party will seek a second term in what are expected to be fiercely contested elections next year.

The government is battling a brutal insurgency by militant Islamists in the north, and clashes between farmers and cattle herders in the centre.