Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, has urged Nigerians to be mindful of the spread of fake videos of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
Speaking on Thursday at a press conference in Abuja, in reaction to the reprisal attacks against South African-owned businesses in the country, Mohammed said some people were spreading fake videos to cause unrest in the country.
He said, “The purpose of this press conference is to reiterate the appeal to Nigerians, who are justifiably angered by the attacks on their compatriots in South Africa, not to resort to self-help by carrying out reprisal attacks against South African businesses in Nigeria,” he said.
“To alert Nigerians to the fact that some unscrupulous people are engaging in disinformation to inflame passion by using fake news and videos of non-related attacks; to very strongly warn the naysayers and hoodlums who might want to capitalise on the widespread disenchantment and anger of Nigerians over the attacks in South Africa to foment mayhem, and to appeal to Nigerians, especially opinion leaders, not to allow raw emotions to guide their response to the attacks.”
“One video shows a man who has been set ablaze trying to escape, and those circulating the video identified the man as Nigerian. This is not true,” Mohammed said.
“The video shows Mozambican Ernesto Alfabeto Nhamuave, a victim of xenophobic violence in South Africa in 2008, and it is not that of a Nigerian being attacked in 2019.”
“Nigerians should be wary of the purveyors of these wrong videos. We strongly warn hoodlums who may wish to hide under the peaceful protests by Nigerians to loot, maim and kill that the security agencies will apprehend and bring them to justice,” he said.
“And to opinion leaders, we ask that they are guarded in their comments.”