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Lai: My trip to US was fruitful — we were able to debunk fake news

Lai: My trip to US was fruitful — we were able to debunk fake news
August 25
16:50 2021

Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says his recent trip to the US was “fruitful and successful”, noting that it provided an opportunity to debunk fake news.

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Over the past few days, the minister has been in the US, where he has met with international media organisations and US government officials.

Speaking in an interview with NAN before departing Washington DC for Lagos, the minister said he was able to use the trip to debunk fake news about persecution of Christians.

He noted he had separate meetings with Mathew Lussenhap, US assistant secretary of state for education and Johnnie Carson, senior advisor at the United States Institute for Peace.

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“We had a very hectic three-day engagement in Washington, DC, and I am very satisfied with the outcome of the engagements,” he said.

“We have been able to achieve our objective, which is to come and tell our own stories, to give an account of our stewardship to the global media and think-tanks and I am very glad that we met both.

“On Wednesday, August 18, we had interview sessions with BBC Radio and Television, Bloomberg and Politico, a US-based journalism company that covers politics and policy in the US and internationally.

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“We opened our programme on Thursday with interview with Reuters, followed by Washington Post and another (live) interview with Bloomberg Quicktake.

“On Friday, we had interview session with VOA Radio and TV, and met with Dr Peter Pham, a Fellow of the Atlantic Council, a think-tank, and former President Trump’s Special Envoy to the great Lake Region of Africa.

“We had a very useful discussion with Pham and we were able to put across to him our narratives on security, COVID-19, Twitter ban, economy and how well we are doing in the area of infrastructure.

“We were also able to debunk the negative and fake stories about persecution of Christians and he made very useful suggestions which we are going to follow up.”

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According to the minister, the meeting with Lussenhap was on a bilateral agreement between Nigeria and the US on how to curb illicit trafficking of artefacts and cultural property.

On the meeting with Carson, Mohammed said the focus was on sourcing funds for infrastructural development.

The minister added that reports that he “sneaked out of the country” was “fake, irresponsible and falls short of media ethic standards”.

He also said such reports justify the position of the federal government on the regulation of social media.

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