The Federal Government has urged Nigerians to disregard the subversive messages being circulated via text messaging and the Social Media, saying the fabricated messages are being orchestrated by those who feel threatened by the emerging order.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said there is no iota of truth in the messages being circulated on the health of the President, who is hale and hearty, and the purported emergency meetings of the State Governors in Abuja or anywhere.
He said the naysayers have also resorted to the use of ethnicity and religion as tools to divide Nigerians, overheat the polity and cause panic among the citizenry, in addition to using fake news and disinformation to distort government activities.
Alhaji Mohammed said while opposition and criticism are all part of democracy, the crafting and circulation of subversive materials and scare-mongering are not, hence the full wrath of the law will be brought to bear on those who are bent on subverting the state.
”The source/sources of the fabricated messages are already being investigated and the authors should prepare to face the consequences of their actions.
”The emerging trend of resorting to destabilisation and scare-mongering is not unexpected, considering this government’s clamp-down on the corrupt elements in the society, the plugging of all financial leaks which has derailed the gravy train of the looters of public treasury and the enthronement of probity and transparency in the polity.
”While we will neither stifle press freedom nor abridge the citizens’ right to express themselves freely, whether through criticism or protests, the security agencies will neither allow any resort to violence nor a willful subversion of the state for whatever reason,” he warned.
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Reviewed by Prince Gabriel
January 25, 2017