The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, on Monday night, stated that those who carry fake news about the President want to cause disenchantment and expose him to ridicule and hatred.
Adesina said there are many reasons why people will create and disseminate fake news, but top on his list is mischief.
While appearing on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’, anchored by Seun Okinbaloye, he said, “There are many reasons; I can’t speak for those who are behind this development but I can hazard guesses why they do it. One will be pure mischief – to just cause disenchantment in the country.”
His comments came amidst increasing concerns by the government about fake news, hate speech, and what was said to be the misuse of social media to create divisions and threaten the unity of the nation.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, On Sunday put out a statement slamming viral reports that the President would travel to the United States today to condole with President Trump in connection with the destruction carried out by Hurricane Harvey.
Adesina who read the reports and the comments that followed has little doubt about the intention behind the fake news.
“If you see the last line of that story, they said that the trip may not be unconnected to the President’s health. Can you just imagine that? I took time to read some of the reactions that followed that fake news and you could see people say all sorts of rubbish,” he said.
“That was their intention; so that they can expose the President to odium if possible. So, one reason is mischief; to cause odium, to cause disenchantment.
“Another reason could also be to de-market somebody. You want to de-market somebody and play up another person. Then, of course, another one is they want traffic to their website.”