– The federal government of Nigeria has denied that there were any explosions at the South African embassy in Abuja
– Information minister, Lai Mohammed, said the video was of an explosion that happened in Abuja five years ago
– The minister accused the opposition of sharing the videos in fake reports to discredit the President Muhammadu Buhari government
– Lai Mohammed warned Nigerians to expect more of such videos from the desperate opposition but also make sure that they verify the reports they see online
The Nigerian government has denied reports that at least one explosion has rocked the South African embassy in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
The denial was issued by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in a statement signed by his media aide Segun Adeyemi on Saturday, September 7.
The statement read: “The Federal Government has debunked the report being circulated on the social media of a bomb explosion at the South African High Commission in Abuja on Saturday, calling the report fake news orchestrated by the desperate opposition to cause panic and chaos among the populace.” Lai Mohammed said the video of the purported bomb explosion, which is being circulated on the social media was several years old.
According to the minister, the video was that of the bomb explosion five years ago at Emab Plaza, near Banex, in Abuja on June 25, 2014.
The minister accused the opposition of desperately using “fake news and disinformation as handy tools in their avowed determination to make Nigeria ungovernable, having lost woefully at the polls”.
The minister added: ”A pattern is emerging of the antics of the desperate opposition to latch on to the use of fake news and disinformation as a strategy to trigger chaos in the country. On Friday (6 Sept 2019), they doctored and circulated the video of my appearance on Channels Television in January 2015 (when I was the spokesman of the APC) to make it look like I was begging Nigerians to forgive President Buhari for not having a school certificate. “Worse still, they posted the video afresh, giving the impression it happened last Thursday and that I acted in my capacity as Minister of Information and Culture.
”Unfortunately for them, this doctored video came out on the same day a report emerged that the PDP had sent lawyers and party agents to the University of Cambridge to confirm the authenticity of the President’s West African school certificate, only to be stunned to discover that not only did the President write the examination, he also passed.
”One would have expected a party that trumpets its belief in the rule of law, a party that challenged the result of the last presidential election in court, to wait patiently for the impending judgement on the issue instead of engaging in underhand tactics and resorting to self help.”
The minister warned Nigerians to verify information they are receiving on social media and other avenues before believing them.
”This is just the beginning. Nigerians should expect an explosion of fake news and disinformation in the days and weeks ahead. This is because the desperation of this opposition is alarming. But their strategy will fail, just like every other dubious strategy that they have been employing in their desperate bid to grab power,” he said.