– Mohammed says 2019 presidential election was a test of Buari’s integrity.
– Says Buhari’s government is not going to gag the press from performing its function.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said that the recently concluded 2019 elections was a referendum on the integrity of President Muhammadu Buhari and the triumph of the common Nigerians over the elites.
Mohammed stated this t a briefing to the international communities at the Department of African Studies, Georgetown University, Washington DC.
According to him, prior to the elections, there was a lot of misinformation and disinformation on the social media that would have marred or discredited the elections, but with proactive steps taken by the government overcame them.
Speaking on fake news, the minister said it was one of the major threat to the general elections, to the extent that some people had posited that “If there are polling booths on social media the opposition would have probably won”.
He, therefore, said that the government was tackling the menace of fake news through the vigorous campaign, which had helped to bring the danger to the fore.
The minister, who reiterated the position of the Buhari-led administration not to gag the press or use coercion appeal to the sensibilities of the people in fighting fake news.
Responding to questions on Boko Haram crisis, Mohammed said that the war could not be won only by the bullets and there is the need to give hopes and opportunities to the younger ones being indoctrinated and rehabilitate the victims.
He noted that many of the younger ones are carried away by the terrorists’ ideology because they feel hopeless, excluded from governance.
In order to nip the challenge on the bud, he said the government would consolidate on its social intervention programmes which will win the people away from the Boko Haram ideology and give them hope and opportunities.
He said some of the programmes were put in place to encourage medium and small scale enterprises and allow people access to credit facilities.