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Lai Mohammed: Nigerian govt uncovered 476 fake news sites

Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said on Monday the Federal Government has uncovered over 400 websites managed by purveyors of fake news.

The minister disclosed this when officials of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) visited him at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.

He said online publications daily publish false contents to fight the government.

Mohammed said: “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, 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 recognise 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 to go viral.”

The minister, however, urged the officials of the NIPR to look into menace, describing the body as a powerful instrument to curb such malicious activities.

He added: “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 placed 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 was hired to give impression to the world that Nigeria entered into agreement with P&ID and renege and have to pay about $9 billion.

“It took the combined 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.”