By Philip Dzeremo
The Benue government said on Saturday that incessant attacks hurled through the social media were painting the state in bad light and discouraging investors from patronising it.
“The social media attacks have been very severe; they paint Benue in bad light and discourage investors from coming in,” Mr Lawrence Onoja Jr., Commissioner for Information and Orientation, said in Makurdi.
Onoja Jr. said that the negative comments posted on the social media were “mischievous tales” targeted at discouraging investors from investing into government’s agriculture-driven industrialization.
“Sometimes what you read in the social media amazes one; how can one deliberately plant lies just to pull down his own state government and stall its growth?
“`The situation is regrettable and simply sad. Government works very hard, but its opponents keep discrediting it,” he fumed.
He, however, said that the Gov Samuel Ortom-led administration would not be discouraged by “such mischief makers and rumour mangers”.
The commissioner said that government was planning an Information Summit that would deal with the menace of the social media and tackle rumour mongering.
Onoja Jr. said that government was transparent in its financial transactions, adding that all contracts had always followed due processes.
“Government has nothing to hide; it is laughable to allege that the governor awards contracts to himself. Contracts are discussed and endorsed by the State Executive Council.
“The governor vets all expenditures; he is strict and there is no way he can award contracts to himself. The executive council directs the ministries and payments are done through the Ministry of Finance,” he explained.
The commissioner commended the federal government for the massive campaign against hate speech, and called for a more critical look into social media content to rid Nigeria of divisive comments.