Information and culture minister Lai Mohammed says a parody Twitter account in his name @MohammedLai was used to spread the fake and ludicrous news claiming President Muhammadu Buhari is due to leave Nigeria for the US on Monday to “condole with President Trumping over the floods in Houston.”
The tweet has garnered 263 comments and been retweeted 109 times.
Mohammed says he doesn’t have any twitter or Facebook account, but at least have created with various combinations of his name, all asserting they are parody accounts for the information minister.
The same parody account used to spread news about the President’s purported trip was also used to circulate a fake report that the minister sharply criticized Senator Dino Melaye for attending the Notting Hill Carnival in the UK.
Mohammed said both instances highlight dangers posed by purveyors of fake news and disinformation.
A separate old NTA News video is also on social media, claiming the President has already left for the UN General Assembly in New York.
Mohammed said it is an old video from 2015 repackaged to look recent and give the impression the President has left Daura, where he is observing Eid, directly for New York.
‘Fake news, disinformation and hate speech are the antics of the naysayers, those who are pathologically opposed to this Administration. That is why we are urging Nigerians to be more discerning and to double check any information emanating from social media,” Mohammed said.
The tweets parodying Lai Mohammed
At least six parody Twitter accounts in Mohammed’s name are up and busy, amassing followers, retweets and replies by the thousands.
Here are recent parody tweets in the name of Mohammed.
President Buhari leaves Nigeria on Monday, September 4, 2017 for a trip to the USA to condole President Trump over the floods in Houston.
— Alhaji Lai Mohammed (@MohammedLai) September 3, 2017
Just look at this clown; Senator Dino Melaye at the Notting Hill carnival in London, performing his favourite song "Ajekun Iya". pic.twitter.com/XlbkMXc54P
— Alhaji Lai Mohammed (@MohammedLai) August 29, 2017
In case you missed it,PMB received our female National Basketball Team, D’Tigress,at the State House.10 million for their account.Fine gals pic.twitter.com/q9ZVbQ9Vse
— Alhaji Lai Mohammed (@MohammedLai) August 31, 2017
— Lai Mohammed (@Mohammed_Lai) August 2, 2017
Fellow Nigerians, President Buhari will approve the implementation of the 50400 minimum wage as soon as he resumes work Tomorrow
— Lai Mohammed (@LaiMohammed1) April 30, 2017
I’m the minister of information, I’m meant to give you information i do my job well but Nigerians are complaining… why??
— Alh. Lai Mohammed (@LieMohammed) July 7, 2017
Ehennn…na wa o. People wil just be creating fake twitter handles and tweeting fake things about me. There is God o. Only mumu will believe
— Lai Mohammed (@Alh_LaiMohammed) July 31, 2017
Our Government is not supporting Herdsmen, the grass we shall be importing from Brazil will be eaten by Cows not the Herdsmen. Be guided. https://t.co/vWkFbapt2n
— Alhaji Lai Mohammed (@AlhLai_Mohammed) October 26, 2016