Avoid Disinformation: IHRC Assures Deltans on Police


…Ask CP Delta Command to Remain Focus Amid Disinformation

The International Human Rights Commission has called upon the Delta State Commissioner of Police CP Hafiz Inuwa, to remain focus on his fight against insecurity and protection of human rights laws.
This was made recently following the disinformation trending on the media about the Nigeria Police and Orobo Joshua Moses.

In a statement issued by Fidelis Onakpoma, IHRC Delta Representative said that it is true that “freedom of expression is an important human right in a democratic dispensation which is essential for society to be autonomous as guaranteed in the Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948. In pursuant to this article, it empowers the free exchange of ideas, opinions, and information and also allows members of society to form their own opinion from happenings in the public sphere”.

Over time, National security had been threatened by unscrupulous citizens, community crises, religious crises, bad governance, disunity terrorism, and most recently fake news. These have greatly influenced the stability of peace and security in our nation.

Fidelis noted that these are disturbing efforts to exploit crisis/misunderstanding to advance hatred between Nigerians and security agencies.
Disinformation erodes trust in institutions and in digital and traditional media and harms our democracies by hampering the ability of citizens to make informed decisions,” he said.

“It can polarise debates, create or deepen tensions in society and undermine the police efforts, and have a wider impact on peace and security”, he added.

I am bewildered on the level at which fake news has plagued us. This is more worrisome as studies show that when false information is introduced to these echo chambers, it is viewed as credible as long as it conforms to the existing narrative.

However, there seems to be an existing narrative that aligns with fake news and spread faster. There is already a bad impression created by the men of the Nigeria Police which has eroded public trust, hence, anyone can testify against a Nigerian Police without sincerity of purpose rather, with the intent to mislead the public. This is the gap. This is the challenge.

In as much as it is hinged on our responsibility as a Human Rights Organization to abreast Nigerians on their rights to freedom of expression, it is necessary to state here that they should pause and verify before establishing their opinions. And the Nigerian Police should as a matter of responsibility adhere to the rule of law because in so doing, they would be able to regain public confidence. I solicit the support of the people of Delta State for a cordial relationship between the local police and the general public and for effective policing of the State.

Planned Efforts may be truncated rising from the impact of disinformation, therefore making investigation seemingly difficult in securing justice. It is on this premise IHRC calls on the CP to remain focus on the discharge of duties.

IHRC outline the following steps to mitigate the dissemination of disinformation:

  1. Be mindful, especially of clickbait headlines: Check the website’s trustworthiness through its about page, mission, and contact info.
  2. Check whether other sources are reporting the same information and how many sources are actually mentioned in the story.
  3. Run the picture through an online search to determine if it’s used out of context
  4. Go to reputable websites: in the case of mentioned, contact their website.

Nigeria will be better. Delta will be stronger. Allow the police to do their jobs.

Comr. Gift O. Okeregha
Press Coordinator SMM IHRC, Niger Delta

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