Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said
the All Progressives Congress (APC) will win the 2019 general elections on the basis of its performance, irrespective of the doomsday predictions by some
international financial institutions and publications.
The Minister gave the assurance in Lagos on Friday when he visited the
corporate headquarters of Channels Television, in furtherance of the
National Campaign Against Fake News, which was launched by the Federal
Government in July
He said the negative predictions against the APC-led Federal Government by an international financial institution, HSBC, and the Intelligence Unit of the Economist Magazine, were based on fake
premises, thus qualifying such predictions as fake news.
“Talking about fake news, we expect that those who have been deeply
affected by our policies will mount a sustained campaign against this
Administration in the weeks and months to come. In fact, they have
already started. We have all read that the Intelligence Unit of the
Economist said the PDP will defeat the ruling APC in 2019. We have
also read that the international financial institution, HSBC,
said Nigeria’s economic development will be stunted if President
Buhari gets a second term
“Let me state clearly that these reports are based on fake premises
and, therefore, qualify as fake news. It is a psychological warfare by
those who have been badly hit by our policies. For example, out fight
against corruption has meant that many financial institutions,
especially banks, that fed fat on the proceeds of corruption are no
longer able to do that.
”Also, international publications that used to feed fat on
questionable supplements paid for by the Federal Government have seen
a drastic reduction in such patronage, as the Administration cuts down
on frivolous spending that was the order of the day in the past.
Therefore, it is natural that these institutions and publications
would not wish to see another term for this Administration,” Alhaji
He said the fake news phenomenon is bound to get worse as the nation
approaches the 2019 general election, because it seems to be the only
weapon left for naysayers who could not fault the government on
infrastructure, economy, fight against corruption, agricultural
development among others.
The Minister said only Nigerians will determine who presides over the
affairs of the country, not any bank or media establishment,
irrespective of their influence or self-importance.
”The parents and wards of the 8.5 million school children, who are
being fed every school day under our home-grown school feeding system,
are feeling the impact of this Administration. The more than six
million farmers, who have joined rice production since this
Administration came on board, know what this government has done.
Nigerians, who are enjoying more stable electricity after power
production has more than doubled, know better. The 500,000 unemployed
graduates who have benefitted from our N-Power programme know that
these naysayers are only thinking about themselves. So we are not
bothered,” he said
On the campaign against fake news, Mohammed sought the support
of the media in driving the campaign, saying the media will become the
first and the biggest victim if fake news is allowed to erode the
credibility of the news business
He said the campaign has recorded a great achievement so far, even
when it has not stopped the spread of fake news.
”Since launching the campaign, we have recorded a huge success. Yes,
we have not stopped the spread of fake news, and we are not under
any illusion that we can stop it so fast. But we have succeeded in
bringing the issue of fake news to the front burner. It is now a
subject of national discourse, workshops and conferences. That, to us,
is a major step forward, and we thank all our partners, and indeed all
Nigerians, for this achievement,” the Minister said.
In his remarks, the Chairman of Channels Television, Mr. John Momoh, who expressed delight at the visit, said Channels TV remains apolitical
and professional in its role as a watchdog for the society.