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Information Ministry warns against fake news

BY: Kwame Asare-Boadu

The government has cautioned the media and voters in next Monday’s general election to expect a lot of fake news in the final week ahead of the elections.

It said there was credible information of impending fake and doctored audios, documents and videos aimed at confusing the Ghanaian public ahead of the vote.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic yesterday, the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who had recently warned about increased fake news, said: “We are aware of materials that have been produced locally and internationally to be churned out this week in a final desperate attempt to create panic and insecurity in the days ahead of the elections.”

“It is all because some elements have realised that their campaigns for the elections have flopped and seek to revert to the politics of scandalous fabrications, with the hope to attack the credibility of front-runner candidates,” he added.

Sanitising media space

Consequently, Mr Oppong Nkrumah called on the media to be exceptionally circumspect in the final week and not just give any bare allegation airtime and print space.

He said if the media bought into the fake news, “you will end up being pawns in the hands of local and international elements that want to negatively affect Ghana’s democracy and elections”.

Mahama’s attack

The minister also expressed disappointment at the fact that former President John Dramani Mahama chose to attack state security agencies on mere allegations, without any attempt to back the allegations with evidence.

 He said it was all clear that Mr Mahama was only out there to whip up anti-government sentiments.

“Mr Mahama recently accused the National Security apparatus of being responsible for the criminal activities of supposed secessionists in the Volta Region. For a former Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces to so desperately stoop this low and attack the security agencies without providing any evidence is so disappointing.

“If he has any credible evidence to back his claims, the responsible thing to do is to put this out, and not just merely mouth suspicions,” he challenged Mr Mahama.

Miscreants

Mr Oppong Nkrumah also warned miscreants who were being recruited to attack participants in planned walks and demonstrations this week to be careful, as the security agencies had already been alerted to deal ruthlessly with such persons.