The Federal Government has debunked a report circulating in social media of a bomb explosion at the South African High Commission in Abuja on Saturday. The government called the report fake news orchestrated by the opposition to cause panic and chaos among the populace, ThisDay Newspaper reports.
This was contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the video of the purported bomb explosion, which was being circulated on the social media, was that of the bomb explosion at Emab Plaza, near Banex, in Abuja on June 25, 2014. Mohammed said it was apparent that the desperate opposition had decided to use fake news and disinformation as handy tools in their determination to make Nigeria ungovernable, after losing at the polls.
The statement said, “A pattern is emerging of the antics of the desperate opposition to latch on to the use of fake news and disinformation as a strategy to trigger chaos in the country. On Friday (6 Sept 2019), they doctored and circulated the video of my appearance on Channels Television in January 2015 (when I was the spokesman of the APC) to make it look like I was begging Nigerians to forgive President Buhari for not having a school certificate. Worse still, they posted the video afresh, giving the impression it happened last Thursday and that I acted in my capacity as Minister of Information and Culture.
“Unfortunately for them, this doctored video came out on the same day a report emerged that the PDP had sent lawyers and party agents to the University of Cambridge to confirm the authenticity of the President’s West African school certificate, only to be stunned to discover that not only did the President write the examination, he also passed.
“One would have expected a party that trumpets its belief in the rule of law, a party that challenged the result of the last presidential election in court, to wait patiently for the impending judgement on the issue instead of engaging in underhand tactics and resorting to self-help.”
The minister appealed to Nigerians to be very discerning at this time, and to check the veracity of any information they receive.
He added, “This is just the beginning. Nigerians should expect an explosion of fake news and disinformation in the days and weeks ahead. This is because the desperation of this opposition is alarming. But their strategy will fail, just like every other dubious strategy that they have been employing in their desperate bid to grab power.”
But the opposition fired back, calling the information minister a mere noisemaker trying to divert attention from the ruling party’s plot to intimidate judges handling poll litigations against President Muhammadu Buhari.