VERDICT: False and Misleading
On Wednesday, December 9, 2020, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a viral message trending on WhatsApp groups, claiming that the Katsina State Government has banned the use of social media application – WhatsApp and Facebook.
The story published by different media outfits had headlines:: Katsina government bans WhatsApp in schools, prohibits Facebook amongst workers;, Katsina bans WhatsApp usage in public schools; Katsina government bans WhatsApp in schools, bars staff from commenting negatively or positively on government activities on Facebook.among others.
According to the reports, students and workers in the state are the most affected.
Fact-checks show that the Katsina State Government had not banned the use of Facebook and WhatsApp by students and workers in the state.
The Katsina State Commissioner for Education, Professor Badamasi Lawal, in his response to CDD’s inquiry said contrary to claim, the state government only stopped the use of WhatsApp groups for staff of public schools in Katsina state.
According to Professor Lawal, the decision to stop WhatsApp groups form staffers in the Ministry of Education was informed agter a disagreement and exchange of words between a teacher and the school principal over group WhatsApp message.
WhatsApp groups had been created by zonal directors of each school in the State for ease of communication among staff. But the feud between the teacher and a principal over a message posted on the WhataApp group created necessitated the decision to block the groups.
Lawal said: “Nobody stopped any teacher from using WhatsApp, it is that group that caused problem that was stopped and nothing else”
“The news that Katsina state government has banned its workers from using WhatsApp and Facebook is a total lie,” Lawal added.
The claim that Katsina State Government has banned use of WhatsApp and Facebook in public schools and work places is false.
The Katsina State Commissioner for Education confirmed that teachers and staff of the state were only stopped from creating WhatsApp group after an incident which led to an altercation between a principal and a teacher of a school in the state.
CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity of stories before sharing them.
You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on Twitter @CDDWestAfrica @CDDWestAfrica_H
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