Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has cautioned Nigerians against spread of fake videos of alleged attacks on citizens in South Africa.
Okay.ng understands that the minister disclosed this during a press conference in Abuja while reacting to the reprisal attacks against South African-owned businesses in the country.
Lai appealed to Nigerians not to “resort to self help by carrying out reprisal attacks against South African businesses in Nigeria”.
He said while speaking to newsmen on Thursday.
“The purpose of this press conference is to reiterate the appeal to Nigerians, who are justifiably angered by the attacks on their compatriots in South Africa, not to resort to self help by carrying out reprisal attacks against South African businesses in Nigeria,” he said.
“To alert Nigerians to the fact that some unscrupulous people are engaging in disinformation to inflame passion by using fake news and videos of non-related attacks; to very strongly warn the naysayers and hoodlums who might want to capitalise on the widespread disenchantment and anger of Nigerians over the attacks in South Africa to foment mayhem, and to appeal to Nigerians, especially opinion leaders, not to allow raw emotions to guide their response to the attacks.”
He said those spreading fake news are using viral videos purportedly showing how Nigerians are being killed in South Africa.
Mohammed said, “One video shows a man who has been set ablaze trying to escape, and those circulating the video identified the man as Nigerian. This is not true.
“The video shows Mozambican Ernesto Alfabeto Nhamuave, a victim of xenophobic violence in South Africa in 2008, and it is not that of a Nigerian being attacked in 2019.”
He then appealed to opinion leaders and celebrities to be guarded in their comments on the xenophobic attacks, adding that the government would leave no stone unturned in protecting Nigerians anywhere in the world.
Mohammed said, “Nigerians should be wary of the purveyors of these wrong videos. We strongly warn hoodlums who may wish to hide under the peaceful protests by Nigerians to loot, maim and kill that the security agencies will apprehend and bring them to justice.
“And to opinion leaders, we ask that they be guarded in their comments.”