Popular Jos based blogger Matthew Tegha has urged youths in Riyom local government of Plateau state to pay attention to ensuring they curb misinformation and disinformation in their community.
Mr Tegha made the call on Tuesday during one-day youth community literacy training and engagement on curbing misinformation and disinformation with youth representatives of 17 wards in Riyom.
He said, ‘information both online and offline has affected the way we respond to the challenges around us, as such we must begin to arm ourselves with the right information devoid of any misinformation or disinformation especially as we are challenged globally by the pandemic.’Matthew Tegha
Participants were engaged in learning how to identify Misinformation or Disinformation after which they also had insights on what to do when faced with misinformation and disinformation and how communities can work together building cohesion to curb misinformation giving the rising challenges both locally and globally.
Matthew Tegha said that Information is vital and goes a long way to control the way people react as such the wrong information (Misinformation) can sometimes lead to death. Misinformation has also been one of the major factors militating against preventive and control efforts. He noted that in the first 3 months of 2020, nearly 6 000 people around the globe were hospitalized and at least 800 people may have died because of coronavirus misinformation as mentioned by the world health organization (WHO).
He encouraged youths to collaborate more and be more proactive and deliberate in checking information as part of efforts in curbing misinformation. He said as young people, we must take responsibility and be guided by the right information as he highlighted tips to curb misinformation and disinformation especially within local communities like Riyom LGA.
“As community members, we should also be deliberate in addressing factors that undermined government preventive efforts in enforcing poor compliance attitude, selective obedience, social media interference, misconceptions and myths, stigmatization, fear, inadequate health facilities, and distrust for government,” He said.
Responding, a participant Samuel Gyang from Ra-Hos community, said though one of the major problems within the community has been insecurity, it was however vital for youths to know what information to respond to and not be misguided due to misinformation.
In a separate remark, Luka Solomon Dalyop, a participant from Buchi Community gave many examples of misinformation within the community especially as it is faced with various challenges. He, therefore, gave his assurances that most of the issues being discussed will help them educate others.
Other youth leaders at the training also shared and discussed further actions which will lead to checking and verification of information to curb the troubling issues of misinformation in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau state. The training was also supported by the Local Government, with the Chairman, Hon Gwalson ensuring that youths were effectively mobilized from various communities to attend the training.
The training is part of the Influencers for Change initiative by ConnexUs and the European Commission towards Responding to Global & Local Challenges and amplifying the Voices of other Influencers Around the World
ConnexUs is a global network and coordination platform that creates a collaborative environment for the peacebuilding, humanitarian, development, and public health fields. The platform offers public discussion forums and private messaging features to help facilitate secure and open knowledge sharing. By harnessing the power of working together online, organizations can fill in gaps and reduce overlap in their programs and activities.