The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said yesterday that some opposition political parties had weaponised fake news since they coudn’t match the All Progressives Congress, APC, in a free and fair election.
Speaking at the fourth edition of the federal government’s scorecard in Abuja, Mohammed said the trend was dangerous and must be stopped.
He said: “In recent times, we have all witnessed how a letter purportedly from INEC was used to cast aspersions on the candidate of the ruling“APC.
“Shortly after that, the death of an innocent man was turned into a political tool to further attack the same APC candidate.
“Of course, there have been other cases similar to the two I have just enumerated. This is a dangerous development which must be nipped in the bud.
“If the opposition has suddenly realised that they cannot match the ruling party in a free and fair election, and have thus decided to weaponise fake news and disinformation, the media should not allow itself to be used for that nefarious purpose.”
The minister lamented that there were those bent on using fake news as a strategy to win elections.
“We have all seen the damage done to elections in other climes by fake news and disinformation,” he said.
“No government will sit by and allow anyone or any organization to use fake news and disinformation to sow the seeds of discord.
“We are therefore compelled to warn the purveyors of fake news and disinformation, especially in the run-up to next year’s elections, to stop forthwith. Enough is enough,” he added.