The federal government has accused opposition political parties of churning out fake news and disinformation on an industrial scale with the aim of disrupting the 2023 elections.
The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this Tuesday at the 21st edition of the PMB administration score card in Àbuja.
“Their sole aim is to destabilize the electoral process and plunge the nation into crisis,” he said.
He also reiterated that fake news remains a danger to the successful conduct of the 2023 general elections.
The minister however, warned that the government will not stand by and allow some ‘miscreants’ with access to phones and data to destabilize the country.
He said: “Before I invite our Special Guest to the podium, please permit me to make a brief remark about the increasing wave of fake news and disinformation, permeating especially the social media space, in the run-up to the general elections.
“Recall, ladies and gentlemen, that during the 4th edition of this series on November 22nd, 2022, I said fake news and disinformation constitute a potent threat to the elections, because they are capable of hampering its success. I reiterated this during the 12th edition on December 14th 2022.
“With about three weeks to the Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 25th, I can say, unequivocally, that there has been a worrisome and astronomical increase in the use of fake news and disinformation, making this a clear and present danger to the successof the elections.
“This increase is undoubtedly the work of some destabilizing agents, some of them linked to the opposition. They are churning out fake news and disinformation on an industrial scale. Their sole aim is to destabilize the electoral process and plunge the nation into crisis.
“I have always said that this government will not stand by and allow some miscreants with access to phones and data to destabilize the country.
“I am therefore warning the purveyors of fake news and disinformation to desist. The government is not and cannot be helpless. We have a range of options to checkmate the use of fake news and disinformation, and we are looking at the best options to ensure that the agents of destabilization do not thwart the success of the elections with their unscrupulous resort to fake news and disinformation. A word is enough for the wise.”