“Social media is a threat and immediate national security priority in Nigeria” – NSA, Nuhu Ribadu

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, has stated that there is a critical need to address the negative impacts of social media as both local and global security threats.

Ribadu made the comment during a meeting with defence, security, and response agencies spokespersons.

He expressed concerns over the proliferation of fake news, misinformation, and disinformation, citing their adverse effects on national security and public engagement.

Ribadu reiterated the importance of strategic communication in national security, urging spokespersons to collaborate effectively to combat media manipulation by terrorist groups and criminal elements. 

He emphasised the need for a comprehensive plan of action to engage Nigerians, build trust, and counter violent extremism effectively.

Furthermore, Ribadu called for the integration of strategic communication into all operational aspects, including information operations and public relations, to project the country’s national power and values. 

His words: “Across the world, we have also assessed the adept use of social media platforms by those who seek power to shape public opinion against citizens. This threat is both global and local and presents an immediate national security priority.

“The urgency to prepare and be proactive in our national security strategic communication management is now, and the spokespersons have a critical role to play.”

Ribadu said in engaging with the public, communicators in the security sector should adopt strategies that take into account the personal sacrifices of service personnel.

He said, “Upon the sweat and blood of service personnel and the men and women who protect us daily, we must build a narrative of resilience and mobilise our people.

“We must tell their stories and sing their praise as part of a broader national strategic communication programme.

“As spokespersons, you have a critical role to play in effective governance communication to project our results and reach audiences at home and abroad.

“Countering fake news will require that we are ahead of the news and proactively update the public.”

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