Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says 476 websites set up to fight the federal government have been uncovered.


Mohammed spoke on Monday when he received officials of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) at his office in Abuja.


The minister, who expressed concerned over the development, said such websites prey on unsuspecting persons.


“It will amaze you that recently, we unveiled almost 476 online publication sites that are dedicated to daily engaging in churning out fake news to fight the government,” he said.

“The latest which I found ridiculous is the one that said days ago, that they had information that when Mr President was in the UK the last time, he was advised to step down because he could not even recognise members of his immediate family.


“I begin to wonder how they can go this far, simply because they know that people are gullible and they will make the fake news to go viral.”


The minister also spoke on the dangers of fake news, noting that it is taking a new dimension and threatening the existence of the country.


He cited the recent case of an alleged job scam involving youths who were reportedly invited to Ondo state from the northern part of the country.


“A young man sent out letters to 600 people to enlist into Nigerian Army and collected N10,000 from each of them,” he said.


“He asked them to report at the Okitipupa army barracks in Ondo state on a particular day to collect their letters of appointment.


“At the same time, he alerted the commandant of the barracks that Boko Haram insurgents were coming to invade the barracks on the same day.”


He, however, urged the NIPR to support the federal government to discourage the spread of fake news.


On his part, Mukhtar Sirajo, chairman of the NIPR governing council, said the institute is willing to work with the federal government to promote peace and unity in the country.