476 websites set up to fight the federal government have been uncovered, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said.
Speaking on Monday, when he received officials of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, NIPR, at his office in Abuja, Mohammed expressed concerned over the development, saying such websites prey on unsuspecting persons.
He said: “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.
“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.”
On the dangers of fake news, the minister noted that it is taking a new dimension and threatening the existence of the country.
Mohammed 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.
He said, “A young man sent out letters to 600 people to enlist into Nigerian Army and collected N10,000 from each of them.
“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.”
However, he called on the NIPR to support the federal government to discourage the spread of fake news.