Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed
Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said while the media is free to criticise President Muhammadu Buhari, they should not denigrate him or his office.
The minister said this in Abuja on Thursday when he visited the Peoples Daily Newspapers, in continuation of his national campaign against fake news, which started in July.
Mohammed said in the rush to criticise Buhari and his government, some mainstream media platforms had resorted to the use of uncouth language to denigrate the President and his office.
He said, “In fact, fake news has taken another dimension. Now, it is not uncommon for otherwise respectable media organisations to accuse the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria without backing up their accusation with an iota of evidence.
“The latest of such occurred two days ago, when a newspaper wrote an editorial in which it resorted to the use of uncouth language to denigrate the President on the farmers-herders clashes and other issues.
‘’In their eagerness to make the President unpopular, they forget that the President is the living symbol of the nation, and that by denigrating him, they are denigrating the country, including themselves.”
Mohammed said because of the impressive performance of the Buhari administration, the critics knew they could not take on the government on issues of performance, hence their resort to fake news.
Mohammed said, “They are unrelenting, because fake news is the only weapon they have against a performing administration like ours.”
“They know they cannot take on us on the issue of infrastructure, economy, fight against corruption, agricultural development, etc. They have, therefore, resorted to using fake news to make our administration unpopular. Thankfully, they are failing.”
In his remarks, the Chief Operating Officer of the Peoples Daily Newspapers, Mr Hameed Bello, described as very strategic Mohammed’s decision to rally the media in furtherance of the Federal Government’s campaign against fake news. (Punch)