- Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, has said that some people are bent on pulling down Buhari's government
- Mohammed made the disclosure on Monday, May 17, in Abuja
- The minister noted that the FG has uncovered 476 online sites to dish out fake information about the government
The federal government said it has uncovered about 476 online publication sites dedicated to daily churning out of fake news to fight the government.
Nigerian Tribune reports that the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this on Monday, May 17, in Abuja when he received officials of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) on a courtesy visit.
Legit.ng gathered that Mohammed said the latest of the hatchet jobs by the traducers was the fake publication on President Muhammadu Buhari’s mental status.
“It will amaze you that recently, we uncovered almost 476 online publication sites that are dedicated to daily engaging in churning out fake news to fight the government.
“The latest which I found ridiculous is the one that said days ago, that they had information that when President Muhammadu Buhari was in the United Kingdom the last time, he was advised to step down because he could not even recognise members of his immediate family.
“I begin to wonder how they can go this far, simply because they know that people are gullible and they will make the fake news go viral."
Daily Nigerian also reports that the minister noted that fake news is taking a new dimension and threatening the existence of the country, adding that the debilitating effects of the menace were not only on the government but on every Nigerian.
Mohammed noted that many marriages had been wrecked as a result of fake news, particularly through social media, while people had lost their lives.
The minister recalled a recent report where fake news almost led to the killing of 600 applicants by scammers.
“A young man sent out letters to 600 people to enlist into Nigerian Army and collected N10,000 from each of them. He asked them to report at the Okitipupa Army Barracks in Ondo State on a particular day to collect their letters of appointment.
“At the same time, he alerted the Commandant of the Barrack that Boko Haram insurgents were coming to invade the barrack on the same day."
Mohammed said his ministry had spearheaded the campaign against fake news years back before the menace got so bad, saying that the NIPR had a critical role to play in ensuring the fight against fake news.
The minister admonished members of the institute to place nationalism and patriotism over and above pecuniary gains in the discharge of their duties.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Lai Mohammed on Monday, April 26, said that more energy would be needed to break the country than to fix it.
It was reported that Mohammed stated this in reaction to calls for secession, arguing that the nation’s strength lies in its diversity.