OPENING REMARKS BY THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE, ALHAJI LAI
MOHAMMED, AT THE 4TH EDITION OF THE ”PMB ADMINISTRATION SCORECARD
2015-2023” SERIES IN ABUJA ON TUESDAY, 22. NOV. 2022
- I welcome you to the 4th edition of the ‘PMB Administration
Scorecard 2015-2023 Series’. So far, we have hosted the Honourable
Ministers of Works and Housing, Transportation as well as Aviation.
Today, it is the turn of the Honourable Minister of Interior.
- Of course, you are aware that we launched the PMB Scorecard
Series last month as part of our efforts to massively showcase the
numerous achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari
Administration. This programme is aimed at consolidating our past
efforts at highlighting these achievements. Town Hall Meetings, Press
Conferences, Radio and TV Documentaries, Media Appearances and
Testimony Series are some of the programmes we have used to tell
Nigerians what the Administration has been doing since assuming office
- Gentlemen, please note that, in continuation of the series, we
will host the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
on Tuesday, Nov. 29th and the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade
and Investment on Thursday, December 1st. Due to unforeseen
circumstances, the planned hosting of the Honourable Minister of
Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development,
earlier scheduled for this Thursday, Nov. 24th, has been deferred to a
date to be announced soon.
- Before I call on the Honourable Minister of Interior to make his
presentation, let me say that the increasing resort to fake news and
disinformation by a section of the media is becoming a great threat to
the success of the 2023 general election. It is generally assumed that
thuggery, insecurity, vote buying, attack on INEC facilities, etc, are
the biggest threats to the elections, But fake news and disinformation
constitute an equally-potent threat, because they are capable of
hampering the success of the polls.
- In recent times, we have all witnessed how a letter purportedly
from INEC was used to cast aspersions on the candidate of the ruling
All Progressive Congress (APC). Shortly after that, the death of an
innocent man was turned to 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 realized that
they cannot match the ruling party in a free and fair election, and
have thus decided to weaponize fake news and disinformation, the media
should not allow itself to be used for that nefarious purpose.
- Since launching our national campaign against fake news,
disinformation and hate speech, in 2018, our strategy has been to use
persuasion and enlightenment, rather than coercion. And that was why
we partnered with a number of media houses for the campaign. But it
would seem as if that is not deterring those who are bent on using
these (fake news and disinformation) as tools of destabilization,
destruction and distortion. We have all seen the damage done to
elections in other climes by fake news and disinformation. 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 rup-up to next year’s elections, to
stop forthwith. Enough is enough.
- On this note, may I invite the Honourable Minister of Interior to
take the stage. Honourable Minister please!