Pains being felt over Tinubu

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris has said that President Bola Tinubu’s reforms are necessary in rebuilding Nigeria even though they might be tough and painful. 


Idris who spoke at a press briefing on Friday, October 27, on the backdrop of the Supreme Court judgement, urged Nigerians to be patient with the President as he has made it clear that he was for all Nigerians regardless of regional, ethnic, partisan, or religious affiliations.


The minister also said removal of petrol subsidies has freed up significant resources for federal and state governments to invest in infrastructure and welfare programmes for the benefit of citizens.


He stated that measures to cushion the effects of the impacts of the economic reforms include a provisional wage increment of N35,000 monthly for six months, establishment of an Infrastructure Support Fund for states to invest in critical areas that would create an enabling environment for businesses and many others. 


Idris said; 


“No serious government seeks to inflict burdens on its people. We are very clear in explaining that these pains being felt are a short-term sacrifice to make for the kind of country that we want and that we deserve.

“Since he assumed office, the President has signed no fewer than five Executive Orders, aimed at improving Nigeria’s business and fiscal environment, and increasing foreign exchange supply.

“There was establishment of a Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reform Committee to reform the tax system while also reducing tax burden on Nigerians. The committee has this week presented its first set of reform proposals to the President, and Nigerians can rest assured that they will be implemented. I must emphasize that one of the primary mandates of the committee is to reduce the tax burdens and complications faced by Nigerians.

“We are finalizing the process for payment of a Cash Transfer of N25,000 monthly to 15 million of the poorest and most vulnerable households in Nigeria, for three months.”

We expect medical professionals to give us reliable information about ourselves and potential treatments so that we can make informed decisions about which (if any) medicine or other intervention we need.

If your doctor instead “bullshits” you (yes – this term has been used in academic publications to refer to persuasion without regard for truth, and not as a swear word) under the deception of authoritative medical advice, the decisions you make could be based on faulty evidence and may result in harm or even death.

Bullshitting is distinct from lying, liars do care about the truth and actively try to conceal it. Indeed bullshitting can be more dangerous than an outright lie. Fortunately, doctors don’t tend to bullshit, and if they did there would be, one hopes, consequences through ethics bodies or the law. But what if the misleading medical advice didn’t come from a doctor?

Chatbots like ChatGPT try to persuade you without regard for truth. Its rhetoric is so persuasive that gaps in logic and facts are obscured. This, in effect, means that ChatGPT includes the generation of bullshit.

The issue is that ChatGPT is not really artificial intelligence in the sense of actually recognising what you’re asking, thinking about it, checking the available evidence, and giving a justified response. Rather, it looks at the words you’re providing, predicts a response that will sound plausible and provides that response.

This is somewhat similar to the predictive text function you may have used on mobile phones, but much more powerful. Indeed, it can provide very persuasive bullshit: often accurate, but sometimes not. That’s fine if you get bad advice about a restaurant, but it’s very bad indeed if you’re assured that your odd-looking mole is not cancerous when it is.

Another way of looking at this is from the perspective of logic and rhetoric. We want our medical advice to be scientific and logical, proceeding from the evidence to personalised recommendations regarding our health. In contrast, ChatGPT wants to sound persuasive even if it’s talking bullshit.

For example, when asked to provide citations for its claims, ChatGPT often makes up references to literature that doesn’t exist, even though the provided text looks perfectly legitimate. Would you trust a doctor who did that?

Now, you might think that Dr ChatGPT is at least better than Dr Google, which people also use to try to self-diagnose.

In contrast to the reams of information provided by Dr. Google, chatbots like ChatGPT give concise answers very quickly. Of course, Dr. Google can fall prey to misinformation too, but it does not try to sound convincing.

Using Google or other search engines to identify verified and trustworthy health information (for instance, from the World Health Organization) can be very beneficial for citizens. And while Google is known for capturing and recording user data, such as terms used in searches, using chatbots may be worse.

Beyond potentially being misleading, chatbots may record data on your medical conditions and actively request more personal information, leading to more personalised, and possibly more accurate, bullshit.

Therein lies the dilemma. Providing more information to chatbots may lead to more accurate answers, but also gives away more personal health-related information. However, not all chatbots are like ChatGPT. Some may be more specifically designed for use in medical settings, and the advantages of their use may outweigh the potential disadvantages.

So what should you do if you’re tempted to use ChatGPT for medical advice despite all this bullshit?

But if you do, the second rule is that you should check the accuracy of the chatbot’s response – the medical advice provided may or may not be true. Dr. Google can, for instance, point you in the direction of reliable sources. But, if you’re going to do that anyway, why risk receiving bullshit in the first place?

The third rule is to provide chatbots with information sparingly. Obviously, the more personalised data you offer, the better the medical advice you get. And it can be difficult to withhold information as most of us willingly and voluntarily give up information on mobile phones and various websites anyway. Adding to this, chatbots can also ask for more. But more data for chatbots like ChatGPT could also lead to more persuasive and even personalised inaccurate medical advice.

Talking bullshit and misuse of personal data is certainly not our idea of a good doctor.

David Martin Shaw, Bioethicist, Department of Health Ethics and Society, Maastricht University and Institute for Biomedical Ethics, University of Basel; Philip Lewis, Research associate, University of Cologne, and Thomas C. Erren, Professor, University of Cologne.

Gunmen abduct Commissioner for Information in Benue

The Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism in Benue state, Matthew Abo, has been abducted. 


Abo was abducted from his residence at his hometown in Zaki-Biam community of Ukum Local Government Area of the state on Sunday night, September 25.


According to reports, Abo was abducted by gunmen who rode on four motorcycles to his house in Zaki-Biam, a rural town famous for being the largest yam market in the country. 


Eyewitnesses say the gunmen arrived at the information commissioner’s residence and ordered everyone, including his wife and children to lie face down, after which they whisked Abo to an unknown destination on one of the motorcycles. The abductors compelled the commissioner at gunpoint to sit behind the rider of one of the motorcycles while a gunman sandwitched him.



Confirming the incident, the Chief Press Secretary to the state Governor, Hyacinth Alia, Kula Tersoo, said;


“Unfortunately, he (commissioner) was kidnapped in his country home in Ukum LGA, around 8pm on, Sunday, September 24, 2023. He was in his home with his family, children and his people when the armed men came in. They forced him to a bike. We received the unfortunate development and His Excellency, Governor Hyacinth Alia has already directed and detailed the security operatives to ensure his safe release from the kidnappers den.”

Evicted Big Brother Naija ‘All Stars’ houseguests Prince Nelson and Lucy Edet have denied leaking sensitive information about the ongoing show to the housemates.

Naija News recalls that Lucy, Kim Oprah, Sholzy and Prince were brought into Biggie House two weeks ago, but two got evicted during the live show on Sunday.

Before the eviction, Seyi Awolowo had bragged during a conversation with Venita that he was one of the six housemates carrying the show because Nigerians were angry at him over his misogynistic comments.

The reality TV star’s remark made many fans believe one of the newly introduced houseguests had briefed him on happenings outside the show.

Speaking during an interview with media personality, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, in a video posted on the Africa Magic YouTube channel on Tuesday, the duo said they didn’t leak any information to the housemates.

Ebuka said: “A lot of the fans have accused you guys of leaking information to the housemates; telling them things about who might be strong and what the perception of them is outside. Is that a valid assertion?”

Prince replied, “I never leaked any information to anybody. But I know one thing I did say to them was that some of their attitudes in the House were not All-Star worthy. I know I did say that.”

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Lucy said, “I don’t think I did either. First of all, I wasn’t watching the show like that. Just pieces and pieces here and there on Instagram. So, that would have been difficult to say.”

Singer Britney Spears believes ex-husband Sam Asghari was

Pop singer, Britney Spears believes that ex-husband Sam Asghari was ‘secretly working’ with her estranged dad Jamie and feeding him information that would help keep her into her 13-year conservatorship.


Sam, 29, filed for divorce from Britney, 41, earlier this month after just 13 months of marriage, however a source close to the popstar has now claimed that she began having serious doubts about the relationship long before they officially split.


According to the Spears family insider, Britney had grown suspicious that  Sam, whom she began dating five years before her father’s lengthy conservatorship over her was ended had been working with Jamie, 71, to provide him with personal details about her life.


‘Britney has reason to believe that Sam was secretly working with her dad Jamie since early on in their relationship,’ the source told DailyMail.


‘Sam would supply information to Jamie that would help to keep her locked in the conservatorship. In exchange, Sam was given access to her and her money. Britney now feels like Sam was being deceitful all along.’


On 1 February 2008, Spears was involuntarily placed under a conservatorship by her father, Jamie Spears, and lawyer Andrew M Wallet after the singer had displayed erratic behaviour in public for several months.


Under the terms of the conservatorship, she wasn’t allowed to get married or manage her own birth control, she told the court. There were also other conditions too.


Aside from shocking allegations of abuse by her father, she also revealed that the conservatorship prevented her from marrying Sam at the time.


She also stated that she was forced to wear an IUD device to prevent her from getting pregnant.


Spears’ conservatorship was terminated by a judge in November 2021.


Sam filed for divorce on August 16 citing ‘irreconcilable differences.’ Prior to his filing, TMZ reported that Sam believed Britney had cheated on him.


The outlet also reported that Britney was physically abusive towards Sam.

He reportedly told friends that the pop princess would attack him during their seven years together, according to TMZ, which further alleged that the pair became embroiled in numerous fights that saw security forced to step in. 

We won

Minister of Information and National orientation, Muhammed Idris, has said that the ministry he heads will not tell lies to defend the government. 


Addressing reporters after being sworn in, Idris said they will be transparent and truthful while giving out information.


Asides from stating that the ministry would own up where it errs or make any mistake and try to adjust where necessary, he added that National orientation would be a core aspect of the government, hence “in a matter of days we would roll out our plans to Nigerians.”


The new Minister went on to ask Nigerians to shun fake news and always clarify issues before taking it out to the public.


Russian propaganda is spreading into the world’s video games.

In Minecraft, the immersive game owned by Microsoft, Russian players re-enacted the battle for Soledar, a city in Ukraine that Russian forces captured in January, posting a video of the game on their country’s most popular social media network, VKontakte.

A channel on World of Tanks, a multiplayer warfare game, commemorated the 78th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in May with a recreation of the Soviet Union’s parade of tanks in Moscow in 1945. On Roblox, the popular gaming platform, a user created an array of Interior Ministry forces in June to celebrate the national holiday, Russia Day.

These games and adjacent discussion sites like Discord and Steam are becoming online platforms for Russian agitprop, circulating to new, mostly younger audiences a torrent of propaganda that the Kremlin has used to try to justify the war in Ukraine.

In this virtual world, players have adopted the letter Z, a symbol of the Russian troops who invaded last year; embraced legally specious Russian territorial claims in Crimea and other places; and echoed President Vladimir V. Putin’s efforts to denigrate Ukrainians as Nazis and blame the West for the conflict.

“Glory to Russia,” declared a video tutorial on how to construct a flagpole with a Russian flag on Minecraft. It showed a Russian flag over a cityscape labeled Luhansk, one of the Ukrainian provinces that Russia has illegally annexed.

“The gaming world is really a platform that can impact public opinion, to reach an audience, especially young populations,” said Tanya Bekker, a researcher at ActiveFence, a cybersecurity company that identified several examples of Russian propaganda on Minecraft for The New York Times.

Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, disclosed in April that the company’s security teams had identified recent Russian efforts “basically to penetrate some of these gaming communities,” citing examples in Minecraft and in Discord discussion groups. He said Microsoft had advised governments, which he did not name, about them, but he played down their significance.

“In truth, it’s not the No. 1 thing we should worry about,” Mr. Smith said at an economic conference in Washington organized by Semafor, the news site. “They’re going to publish information somewhere. You know, it just happens to be a good place for them to get the information into circulation.”

The head of Microsoft’s threat analysis team, Clint Watts, told researchers at New York University’s Stern School of Business that the Russian paramilitary force known as the Wagner Group promoted “malign narratives” on Discord and Steam to support the Kremlin’s views. It may have also sought to encourage enlistments when Russian combat casualties were taking an enormous toll.

“The propaganda mainly seeks to make Wagner and the Russian military look cool and menacing,” Mr. Watts told the researchers, who were examining extremism in video games.

Microsoft declined to elaborate on its executives’ comments or to respond to questions about the Russian examples except to say in a statement that the company reviews content that violates its community standards.

Although some of the material reflects the views of ordinary Russians, other examples suggested government involvement. The Kremlin’s reach into video games shows how tenaciously Mr. Putin’s government has sought to bolster its political goals by using Western social media and consumer products despite diplomatic and economic isolation.

In June, celebrities, musicians and at least one Russian government official staged a concert on Minecraft celebrating Russia Day. The official, Ekaterina Mizulina, is a member of the Civic Chamber, an advisory body, and the head of the Russian Internet Safety League. Her mother, Yelena, serves in the upper house of Parliament and has been a prominent ally of Mr. Putin’s, sponsoring conservative legislation targeting, among other things, homosexuality.

Other memes appearing in games are sympathetic to the Wagner Group, which was led by Yevgeny V. Prigozhin until a mysterious military mutiny unraveled last month. Mr. Prigozhin, once a close ally of Mr. Putin’s, is a veteran of information operations, having founded the Internet Research Agency, the St. Petersburg company that interfered in the American presidential election in 2016.

This month, Mr. Putin underscored the Kremlin’s interest in the gaming industry as a potential tool for the government to instill values. He called it “a colossal business” in remarks to a civic organization he founded in 2018 to focus on youth social and economic issues. One in four Russians plays games online, according to a deputy prime minister who spoke at the same meeting. Mr. Putin said games “should be at the intersection of art and education.”

“A game should help a person develop, help him find himself, should help educate a person both within the framework of universal human values and within the framework of patriotism,” Mr. Putin said in remarks in the Kremlin.

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Microsoft announced that it would suspend new sales of products and services to Russia to comply with sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe, but Russians have continued to find ways to use its games and sites like Discord and Steam to reach broader audiences. Many of the examples are in Russian, suggesting that the intended audience is at home or among Russian speakers in neighboring countries, including Ukraine.

“Russian propaganda is trying new things to promote its regime,” said Artem Starosiek, the head of Molfar, a Ukrainian consultancy that analyzes online threats.

Molfar’s researchers identified more than a dozen instances of pro-Kremlin propaganda in Minecraft, Roblox, World of Tanks, World of Warships, Fly Corp, Armored Warfare and War Thunder. Almost all extolled the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany, a theme Mr. Putin and his advisers have used to build support for today’s war. Some of it had explicit links to political parties or government agencies.

It is not clear what steps, if any, Microsoft or other companies have taken to block Russian efforts. Wargaming Group, the Cyprus-based creator of World of Tanks and other games, spun off its Russian and Belarusian business last year to Lesta Studio, a subsidiary in St. Petersburg.

Jacob Davey, the head of research of far-right and hate movements at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue in London, said Minecraft and other games could be useful tools for those looking to influence vulnerable young people, especially if those people had already sorted themselves into private groups where they were eager to discuss fringe ideologies.

“We know that hostile actors who are seeking to shape minds and influence people are opportunistic,” said Mr. Davey, who has studied the gamification of extremist content online. “They go where they think they might find a receptive audience, and they adopt a wide range of tech platforms to push their messaging out.”

Giving the martial nature of many games, it is not surprising that the war in Ukraine would have an influence on content, but in some cases, the games have become a battleground.

A company in Germany made a video game, Death From Above, that simulates Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian forces. The company’s owner called it “a propaganda game.” A newspaper in Finland, Helsingin Sanomat, used the video game Counter-Strike to create a conduit for factual information about the war to a Russian audience largely shielded from it.

“Could we create a place in Counter-Strike where the millions of young Russian men playing this first-person shoot game would be forced to face the terrors of the war in Ukraine?” the newspaper asked in an interactive feature.

Joseph Brown, an assistant professor at Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia, spent five years teaching about video game development in Russia, and said he had seen firsthand the country’s commitment to propaganda through video games and other forms of media.

“They need to get everybody back on board with the war,” Dr. Brown said. “It’s another piece of this whole puzzle of constant propaganda, all the time. In every single medium they can get to you with, they will get to you.”

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos state, Gbenga Omotoso, says connecting the mass burial to the Lekki tollgate can be described as “post-election hallucination.”


Omotoso was a guest on Arise TV on Tuesday July 25, to speak about the leaked memo showing the approval of N61 million by the state government for the mass burial of 103 bodies recovered during the October 20, 2020 EndSARS crisis. Shortly after the memo was leaked, Nigerians dragged the government for lying that no one died at the Lekki tollgate. They insisted that the bodies to be buried were retrieved from the Lekki tollgate where some military men were sent in to disperse the protesting youths.


The state government while reacting to the memo, said that nobody died at the Lekki tollgate and that the 103 bodies to be buried were recovered form other parts of the state that witnessed one form of crisis or the other during the EndSARS saga. 


In the interview he granted, Omotoso said anyone linking the mass burial to the Lekki tollgate is showing signs of post-election hallucination, He insists the state government is not lying with its position that no one died at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020.


Watch a clip from his interview below…



The site, launched last month, acts as a repository for all things Afrobeats.

How did Afrobeats evolve from its early origins in Ghana to become one of the fastest growing music genres in the world?

Who were the artists at the center of that evolution and who is the most streamed Afrobeats artist of all time? These are just some of the questions answered in the latest updates to Spotify’s Afrobeats: Journey to a Billion Streams.

The updated Afrobeats website showcases the genre’s constant thirst for reinvention, with research conducted on behalf of Spotify by research firm Kuvora finding that 90% of fans expect Afrobeats to continue evolving.

The latest updates to the site explore the evolution of Afrobeats through three distinct eras of creativity that laid the foundation for Afrobeats’ connection to global audiences. From the early era of Hip Hop-influenced but locally rooted sounds, to the infusion of foreign influences and local lyrics, and the definitive hits that marked pivotal moments, the website provides a comprehensive exploration of Afrobeats’ journey.

The evolution story also explores the key figures who have played significant roles in shaping and propelling Afrobeats forward. From trailblazers like 2Face Idibia, P-Square, and Wande Coal to influential women such as Tiwa Savage and Yemi Alade, these artists have defied stereotypes, broken barriers, and taken Afrobeats to unprecedented heights.

This week’s updates also include exclusive video interviews with:

  • Sarz, a Nigerian producer and musician
  • Obi Asika, CEO of Storm Records, one of Nigeria’s pioneer music labels
  • May7ven, a UK based Afrobeats artist and pioneer
  • Kofi Bansah, a Ghanaian music producer

  • The top streamed Afrobeats artists of all time
  • The number of hours of Afrobeats music streamed last year
  • We’ve also updated the top streamed songs in the top streaming cities, so be sure to check out what people are playing on repeat right now.

You can explore Spotify’s updated Afrobeats website, which offers an immersive experience that celebrates the evolution and impact of this vibrant genre.

Spotify has announced the launch of Afrobeats: Journey of a Billion Streams, a dedicated site that will track all things related to the fast-growing genre from West Africa.

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