Social media influencer Adetutu Balogun has mocked information minister Lai Mohammed for “peddling fake news”.
Balogun, who tweets via @Tutsy22, was reacting to a report in which journalists were urged to arrest the scourge of fake news in the media.
“Fake news has done more harm than good to Nigeria,” the report by Daily Post was headlined.
In the report, the visiting priest in St. Michael’s Catholic Parish, Amakohia Owerri in Imo state, Reverend Father Longinus Chinagorom, admonished journalists against peddling fake news which he described as a soicetal ill.
“The press is the mirror and conscience of the society. As such, whatever they send to the public travels fast like the wild fire,” the priest said during Sunday’s mass.
“Fake news has done more harm than good to Nigeria. Our pressmen have deviated from the core value of their profession to engage in sensational reports merely to sell their products. This is a misnomer.
“Look at what is happening today in our country. Crisis has taken the larger part of the nation. In this situation, the journalists are expected to inform the public with verifiable news to avoid aggravating the situation.
“I urge men of the fourth estate of the realm to restore the dignity of the profession by engaging in investigative journalism in order to save the nation from imminent collapse.”
In a tweet quoting the report, Balogun linked Lai Mohammed to fake news, and added a laugh emoji.
The information minister, who is currently on a crusade to clamp down on fake news, a crusade critics say is actually a war on free speech, is said to have told many lies to help his boss Muhammadu Buhari defeat Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.
Lai Mohammed is also accused of peddling falsehood to prop up the Buhari regime.
But the information minister repeatedly denies lying for the government. He once said he has never told a lie in his life. His critics say that is another lie.