FG discovers 476 online sites set up to fight the Government

FG discovers 476 online sites set up to fight the Government because they promote fake news on a daily basis that is against the government.

The Federal Government has revealed that it has uncovered about 476 online publication sites devoted to daily releasing fake news to fight the government.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture,  revealed this on Monday the 17th of May, 2021, in Abuja when he was visited by  some officials of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.

Mohammed said the latest of the fake news by the defamers was the fake publication on President Muhammadu Buhari’s mental status.

“It will amaze you that recently we unveiled 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 Mr. President was in the UK the last time, he was advised to step down because he could not even recognize 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,’’ he said.

The minister stated that fake news is wearing a brand new outlook and it threatens the very existence of the country.

He said the bad effects of the menace were not only on the Nigerian government but on all  Nigerians.

Mohammed went on to explain that many marriages had been wrecked as a result of fake news, particularly through social media while people had lost their lives and many others committed suicide.

To further explain his position, the minister recalled a recent report where fake news almost led to the murder 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,’’ he said.

Mohammed recalled that his ministry was in charge of the campaign against fake news some years back before the issue got out of hand.

He said the NIPR had a major role to play in the fight against fake news.

“This is where your body comes in because you have a powerful platform to ensure that the menace of fake news is confronted squarely.

“Regrettably, however, members of this institute have been found wanting, they have most times place pecuniary interest and motives above patriotism and nationalism

“You will recall the sad incidence of the P&ID saga.

“It was a member of this institute, a firm of PR consultants that were hired to give the impression to the world that Nigeria entered into an agreement with P&ID and renege and have to pay about nine billion dollars.

“It took the combine interventions of this ministry and the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation to go to the UK to change the narrative to prove that the purported contract was a huge scam,’’ he said.

The minister encouraged members of the institute to place nationalism and patriotism over and above monetary gains in carrying out their duties.

He also assured NIPR that the ministry will fully support its proposed plan to use its platform to engender stakeholders’ interaction and engagement on national security and cohesion.

Finally, he used the opportunity to invite the minister to the Annual General Meeting of the Institute held in Bauchi in May.

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