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How Lai Mohammed is fighting Fake News with Fake News



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The campaign against Fake News being propelled by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, is beginning to lose credibility as the minister is being perceived to be fighting fake news with fake news. The minister beginning to attack public suspicion on the authenticity of the fake news campaign after he attributed crisis ravaging the National Assembly which sprang from the pressure on the leaders of the ruling All Possessives Congress (APC) to impeach Senate President Bukola Saraki, to the spreading of fake news, especially in the Social Media.

Lai mohammed at the headquarters of Blueprint Newspapers, Abuja, where he went to advance his anti-fake news campaign,  launched on July 11,  2018, declared: “When we launched the campaign, we did not envisage the kind of event that occurred at the National Assembly last week, specifically Aug. 7 – Less than one month after the launch. That event, during which the National Assembly was barricaded, is a classic example of how fake news can aggravate conflicts. In fact, it was driven all the way by fake news
”A serving Senator led the fake news onslaught, claiming that only APC members were being allowed into the chambers as a ploy to impeach the Senate President while PDP members were barred – FAKE NEWS! No APC members was in the chambers at the time.”
The minister chose to ignore the reality that the first phase of news that spread in the public was the barricading of the National Assembly by masked SSS operatives who prevented PDP Senators, National Assembly staff and journalists from gaining access in the national Assembly complex. The report later indicated that only senators were allowed into the complex but the Chambers were locked. television telecast also showed senators who were hanging around at the lobby since they couldn’t gain access to their offices.
In fact, assumption of such report as only APC senators were being allowed entrance into the Assembly sounds misleading since later report indicated that APC Senators were allowed entrance through the back gate. Here, one may talk of fake news but not in the context Lai Mohammed puts it, and it didn’t emanate from a senator but from news speculators outside the National Assembly. The minister needs to have the consciousness that he cannot fight fake news with fake news.
Lai Mohammed further inferred that “but for the timely intervention of the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the situation could have deteriorated and brought great opprobrium on the country.”
He, however, remarked that  fake news remains a clear and present danger to the country’s unity and democracy, and, indeed, to the very survival of the country, adding that it cannot and must not be treated with levity.
The minister told Nigerians to always check the source of any news item before sharing it, adding: ”Don’t share whatever you can’t vouch for.”
APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, has in the past few days been spitting fire and boasting that Saraki must be impeached except he resigns. The ruling  party chairman has vehemently insisted that the only way Saraki can escape impeachment is to resign.  The impeachment threat and the vaunts of the APC chairman have been the major source of crisis in the National Assembly not the news that follows the political intrigues.
All the facts are there in ‘public library’ for verification.