By: Tunde Ogunmola
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed has made it known that he didn’t have Twitter or Facebook accounts.
The former National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), made this statement against the backdrop of untrue and baseless information being disseminated through the acclaimed social media platforms with his name.
The Minister said, one of the numerous parody Twitter accounts in his name, @MohammedLai, was used to disseminate the fake and fallacious 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”.
He also discards the old NTA News video being circulated on the Social Media, claiming that President Buhari has already left for the UN General Assembly in New York.
According to him; “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 said.
The Kwara State born politician said Nigerians should disregard any news credited to any account in his name, either on Twitter or Facebook, saying that, ”Numerous fake accounts have been opened in my name on the two platforms, when indeed I have no Twitter or Facebook accounts.”
The Minister further noted 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.