The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has
urged Nigerians to disregard the fake news being circulated via a
parody Twitter account and an old NTA news video that President
Muhammadu Buhari is travelling or has travelled to the US.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday, signed by his SA Segun Adeyemi, the Minister said one of the numerous parody Twitter accounts in his name, @MohammedLai, was used to disseminate the fake and ludicrous news that claims that President Buhari is due to leave Nigeria for the USA on Monday ”to condole with President Trump over the floods in Houston”.
Also, he said, an old NTA News video being circulated on the Social
Media claims that President Buhari has already left for the UN General
Assembly in New York.
”This is a 2015 NTA News video that was repackaged to look current,
and to give the impression that the President left Daura, where he is
celebrating Eid-el-Kabir, directly for New York,” Alhaji Mohammed
He said Nigerians should disregard any news credited to any account in
his name, either on Twitter or Facebook, adding: ”Numerous parody
accounts have been opened in my name on the two platforms, when indeed I have no Twitter or Facebook accounts.”
The Minister recalled how the same parody Twitter account used to
disseminate the fake news about the President’s purported trip was
employed to circulate a fake report that he sharply criticized Senator
Dino Melaye for attending the Notting Hill Carnival in the UK.
He said these two instances highlight the dangers posed to the polity
by the purveyors of fake news and disinformation, and vowed that the
Federal Government would soon fish out those behind the shenanigans.
”Fake news, disinformation and hate speech are the antics of the
naysayers, those who are pathologically opposed to this
Administration. That is why we are urging Nigerians to be more
discerning and to double check any information emanating from the
Social Media,” Alhaji Mohammed said.