The Presidency has described the trending news that “President Muhammadu Buhari has been coughing and is now on a ventilator” as fake news.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who disclosed this during a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, said that the epidemic of fake news associated with coronavirus is now competing with the pandemic of coronavirus, “and this is not helping the fight against the disease.
“Instances of such fake news include:
- That there are only two ventilators in Abuja, out of which one has been commandeered for a top government official
- That a British Airways Flight was due to land in Nigeria on Wednesday despite the closure of all international airports.
- That President Muhammadu Buhari has been coughing and is now on a ventilator.
“Fake. Fake. Fake. It’s all fake news. “
He noted that a section of the traditional media has also been engaging in scaremongering and irresponsible reporting on the disease, saying that “it is wrong to speculate on those who are positive or negative for coronavirus without any empirical information. In any case, being positive to.
“Coronavirus is not a death sentence, as we can see around the world. There is no need for the kind of scaremongering we are seeing in a section of the media. The danger is that this scaremongering can even discourage some who may want to come forward for testing. We, therefore, wish to appeal to the media to be more circumspect in their reporting.
The Minister lamented that “that we are not getting the kind of cooperation that this moment deserves from Nigerians. Many are busy engaging in meaningless criticisms instead of complying with the stipulated directives to keep people safe.
“Some Nigerians who flew into the country from overseas filled wrong addresses and phone numbers in their forms, making it difficult to trace them when the need arises. Some Nigerians defied orders to stay away from large gatherings while some religious leaders willfully flouted the directives to ensure social distancing.
“The government is doing its best but we need the citizens to do their best too. We have now gone past the stage of persuasion. It’s time for strong enforcement.”