Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has rebuked leaders spreading misinformation and disinformation.
Speaking at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 press briefing on Monday, Ehanire lamented that erstwhile trusted and respected persons also join in creating confusion.
The minister, who noted the dangers posed by COVID-19, therefore called for reasoned conversation and calm.
He also charged opinion leaders, community gate keepers and the media to only disseminate verified information.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is not only disrupting our way of life more and more and impacting national economy and livelihood of citizens, it is generating discussions and anxiety around our safety and well-being,” Ehanire said.
“Conversations go on in conventional, and especially in social media, that can be laden with misinformation and disinformation.
“Even more disturbing is that erstwhile trusted and respected persons and organs, who are expected to know better, themselves contribute to the confusion and information chaos.
“This is a time for reasoned conversation, calm and consensus and I begin my briefing by calling on opinion leaders, community gate keepers and the media to rise to the occasion and endeavor to first check their facts and figures, ask necessary questions, and in making their contributions to the discourse, ensure they are constructive and not inflammatory or inciting.
“We cannot, at these moments of anxiety about public health and well-being, afford to spread false information and damaging rumours.
“The Ministry of Health will always provide full authentic information to the public on demand, at PTF and at all other fora for briefings.”
Recently, Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, baselessly claimed that the COVID-19 vaccines are meant to kill people.