The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has tasked well-meaning Nigerians to hold purveyors of fake news and hate speeches accountable for the falsehood they spread on the President’s health.
The Minister stated this on Sunday when he featured on a late night interview programme on African Independent Television (AIT) on the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari from London.
Mohammed expressed concerns over the level of falsehood and bitterness spread by certain high-ranking public officials about the President’s condition while recuperating in London.
He also said the media has the responsibility to hold such officials accountable for the falsehood they spread on the President’s health.
“I will start with Mr Femi Fani-Kayode and Gov Ayo Fayose, although I am not used to commenting about them.
“I remembered on July 13, Fani-Kayode said that Mr President will not come back as President because his situation was pathetic and critical.
“He went as far as saying that the President does not even recognise people and that he suffered from dementia.
“He challenged the Acting President, who just came back from his visit to Mr President, to tell the world if he actually saw him and talk to him and what the President was suffering from.
“On Aug. 12, I was in London to see Mr President and the whole world saw Mr President walked to greet me, they saw him mentioned my name and yet nobody has gone to challenge him for his lies.
“Similarly, Gov. Fayose came to Abuja and told newsmen that he had 11 pictures that he would release and when he do so, the whole country will be on fire.
“He said Mr President was on life support and he will never return alive to the country.
“It is amazing that up till date, nobody has hold him accountable for his falsehood and reckless statement.
“I am more worried that the media which they used in spreading these falsehood and hate speeches do not think that they have the responsibility to go back and hold them to account,” he said.
The Minister said he was amazed when he heard of a tweet message by Fani-Kayode that it was the planned protest in London by Peoples Democratic Party that “chased the President out to Nigeria”.
He said: “In the first instance, assuming without conceding that it is the truth, is it not inhuman for any political party to say they have chased out a sitting president who is convalescing.
“Is it not sadistic on the part of a political party to say that they chased out the President who is recuperating from the hospital.
“These are warnings to all of us the level of hatred, bitterness and falsehood that is being purveyed”.
The Minister reiterated that every Nigerian has the responsibility to check the high proportion the trend of hate speeches and fake news had assumed.
He said if the trend was left unchecked, it would threaten and destroy the very fabric of the nation