Hurricane Harvey: No plan for Buhari to visit USA – FG

Buhari NDPHC
President Muhammadu Buhari

The Nigerian government on Sunday debunked rumours that President Muhammadu Buhari would travel on Monday to the United States on a sympathy visit to President Donald Trump over the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas.
A fake Twitter account in the name of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
The tweet had said Buhari would visit the United States to commiserate with the government and people of that nation on the recent disaster.
The rumours had swiftly stirred a social media storm, with commentators accusing the recuperating president currently in his hometown, Daura in Katsina State, of being insensitive to the economic word plaguing Nigeria.
However, the minister in a statement urged Nigerians to “disregard the fake news being circulated via a parody Twitter account and an old NTA news video that President Muhammadu Buhari is travelling or has travelled to the US.”
He said one of the numerous parody Twitter accounts in his name, @MohammedLai, was used to disseminate the “fake and ludicrous news” that Buhari is due to leave Nigeria for USA on Monday “to condole with President Trump over the floods in Houston.”
Also, he said, an old NTA News video being circulated on social media claims that President Buhari has already left for the UN General Assembly in New York.
“This is a 2015 NTA News video that was repackaged to look current, and to give the impression that the President left Daura, where he is celebrating Eid-el-Kabir, directly for New York,” Mohammed said.
He said Nigerians should disregard any news credited to any account in his name, either on Twitter or Facebook, adding: “NNumerous parody accounts have been opened in my name on the two platforms, when indeed I have no Twitter or Facebook accounts.”
The minister recalled how the same parody Twitter account used to disseminate the fake news about the president’s purported trip was employed to circulate a fake report that he sharply criticized Senator Dino Melaye for attending the Notting Hill Carnival in the UK.
He said these two instances highlight the dangers posed to the polity by the purveyors of fake news and disinformation, and vowed that the Federal Government would soon fish out those behind the shenanigans.
“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 the social media,” he added.


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