Lai Mohammed, minister of information, says the prediction of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) victory at 2019 presidential poll by The Economist magazine is fake news.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research unit of the magazine, had said though the 2019 election would be “a close contest”, the PDP would defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Speaking when he visited corporate headquarters of Channels Television in Lagos on Friday, Mohammed said the report was based on “fake premises.”
“Talking about fake news, we expect that those who have been deeply affected by our policies will mount a sustained campaign against this administration in the weeks and months to come. In fact, they have already started,” the minister said.
“We have all read that the intelligence unit of The Economist said the PDP will defeat the ruling APC in 2019. We have also read that the international financial institution HSBC said Nigeria’s economic development will be stunted if President Buhari gets a second term
“Let me state clearly that these reports are based on fake premises and, therefore, qualify as fake news. It is a psychological warfare by those who have been badly hit by our policies. For example, out fight against corruption has meant that many financial institutions, especially banks, that fed fat on the proceeds of corruption are no longer able to do that.
”Also, international publications that used to feed fat on questionable supplements paid for by the federal government have seen a drastic reduction in such patronage, as the Administration cuts down on frivolous spending that was the order of the day in the past.
“Therefore, it is natural that these institutions and publications would not wish to see another term for this administration.”
The minister said the campaign against fake news has recorded a great achievement so far.
”Since launching the campaign, we have recorded a huge success. Yes, we have not stopped the spread of fake news, and we are not under any illusion that we can stop it so fast,” he said.
“But we have succeeded in bringing the issue of fake news to the front burner. It is now a subject of national discourse, workshops and conferences.”
John Momoh, chairman of Channels Television, said his station would remain a watchdog for the society.