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Xenophobia: FG reacts to viral video of bomb explosion in South African High Commission

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The Federal Government has said there was no bomb explosion in the High Commission of South Africa.

It said the video being circulated was that of the bomb explosion at Emab Plaza, near Banex, in Abuja on June 25 2014.

It accused “desperate opposition of allegedly using fake news and disinformation as handy tools to portray Nigeria as ungovernable.

It said some emerging fake videos were parts of a strategy to trigger chaos in the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the clarifications in a statement in Abuja. The statement said: “The Federal Government has debunked the report being circulated on the social media of a bomb explosion at the South African High Commission in Abuja on Saturday, calling the report fake news orchestrated by the desperate opposition to cause panic and chaos among the populace.

“The video of the purported bomb explosion, which is being circulated on the social media, is that of the bomb explosion at Emab Plaza, near Banex, in Abuja on June 25 2014.” The government fingered those in the opposition as behind the fake video.

Mohammed added: “It is now apparent that the desperate opposition has decided to use fake news and disinformation as handy tools in their avowed determination to make Nigeria ungovernable, having lost woefully at the polls.

”A pattern is emerging of the antics of desperate opposition to latch on to the use of fake news and disinformation as a strategy to trigger chaos in the country.

“On Friday (6 Sept 2019), they doctored and circulated the video of my appearance on Channels Television in January 2015 (when I was the spokesman of the APC) to make it look like I was begging Nigerians to forgive President Buhari for not having a school certificate.

“Worse still, they posted the video afresh, giving the impression it happened last Thursday and that I acted in my capacity as Minister of Information and Culture.

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”Unfortunately for them, this doctored video came out on the same day a report emerged that the PDP had sent lawyers and party agents to the University of Cambridge to confirm the authenticity of the President’s West African School Certificate, only to be stunned to discover that not only did the President write the examination, he also passed.”

The government advised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to wait for the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal to give its judgment instead of resorting to self-help.

The Minister added: “One would have expected a party that trumpets its belief in the rule of law, a party that challenged the result of the last presidential election in court, to wait patiently for the impending judgement on the issue instead of engaging in underhand tactics and resorting to self-help.”

Mohammed urged Nigerians to be very discerning at this time, and to check the veracity of any information they receive.

He said: “This is just the beginning. Nigerians should expect an explosion of fake news and disinformation in the days and weeks ahead. “This is because the desperation of this opposition is alarming. But their strategy will fail, just like every other dubious strategy that they have been employing in their desperate bid to grab power.”

The Minister warned those behind the orchestrated fake news and disinformation campaign to stop forthwith or be made to face the music.

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