Opposition uses fake news tactics against President Buhari- Minister

Solomon Chung, Abuja

From left: Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Managing Director, Authority Newspapers, Mr. Madu Onuoha; Executive Director Publication/Service, Authority Newspapers, Joe Nwankwo and the Executive Director, Business Development of the newspapers, Chuks Akunna when the Minister visited the corporate headquarters of the Authority Newspapers to flag off the media tour on the campaign against fake news in Abuja on Monday.
Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, has accused the opposition of resorting to the use of fake news as a
campaign tool against the Buhari Administration ahead of the 2019
general elections.
The Minister made the remarks in Abuja on Monday at the kick-start of the media tour in furtherance of the campaign against fake news, which was recently launched by the federal government.

He said because the Buhari Administration is performing well, the
political opposition believed that the best way to de-market the
administration is by latching on to fake news to create religious and
ethnic disharmony and throw the country into turmoil.

“With the Buhari Administration delivering on its promises to fight corruption, build the nation’s economy and tackle insecurity, the opposition has realized it will not make any impact if it takes on the Administration on that turf. So, it has decided to take the easy route, which is to use fake news and hate speech to de-market the Administration, pitch Christians against Muslims and one ethnic group against another,” he said.

Mr. Mohammed said the opposition has thrown caution to the wind in
its futile attempt to divide Nigeria along ethnic and religious lines
by using fake news to blame all the killings in a certain part of the
country on herdsmen, ignoring the bands of deadly militia groups that are being sponsored by unscrupulous people to kill innocent people and put the nation on edge.

He cited the example of how the opposition is distorting the fact that
the clashes between the farmers and herders are being aggravated by climate change – which has heightened the contest for scarce natural resources like water and land – as well as demographic pressure.

The Minister said the morbid fear the opposition harbors that when he is re-elected in 2019, President Buhari will consolidate on the fight against corruption, has thrown the opposition camp into confusion,
hence the frenzy with which they fabricate and publish fake news in
order to cast the government in bad light.

“Many politicians know that the only way to distract this government is to spread fake news and they are being very selfish and they have amassed so much wealth that they can continue to sponsor fake news at a very dangerous level for as long as they want.”

“Many of them have this morbid fear of the President being re-elected because they know that in his second term, the war against corruption will start yielding fruits. There are so many cases in court today and they are just praying and doing everything to distract the government so that their cases will be scuttled,” he stated.

Mohammed said that for the first time in the history of Nigeria, there is a re-distribution of the nation’s wealth from a few to the generality of the public.

He said the Administration’s Social Investment Programme is providing one meal a day for 8.5 million pupils across 23 states; the Conditional Cash Transfer is empowering 400,000 families with N5,000 every month, the Government Enterprises and Empowerment Programme has made available loans to artisans and craftsmen as well as market women while the N-Power Programme has provided employment for over 200,000 unemployed graduates.

The Minister commended the Authority Newspapers for being the first media outlet to write an Editorial in support of the campaign against fake news, saying he chose to kick-start the media tour with the newspaper in appreciation of their efforts.