The Presidency has debunked reports that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) is planning to travel out of the country for 20 days.
Nigerian media was awash with reports on Monday morning that Buhari is planning to embark on a private visit to the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Austria during this period.
However, Special Adviser to Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement described the report as fake news, saying “it is nothing but falsehood from mischievous minds.’’
“In the past couple of days there is this trend that shows that there is an orchestration of fake news, the most violence, the most evil and pernicious that is capable of generating restiveness and throwing the country into total confusion.
“Since about yesterday (Sunday) the fake news has been trending that President Buhari would travel to London for 20 days and from there he would go to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and from there he would go to Austria and then he would be away from the country till April 4, 2020.
“We have got many calls, many enquiries whether this was true or not. Of course, there is no truth to it at all. It is just handiwork of mischievous people who want cause disaffection, dissatisfaction in the country.
“We know that Nigeria has been passing through challenging times in the past couple of weeks, particularly due to security challenges, now they have added disinformation to it.”
“Transportation Minister was said to have been attacked at Rigasa in Kaduna – he has denied it; the Air Force was alleged to have killed 250 insurgents – they have denied it; Zahra, the daughter of the President was said to have got a job through the backdoor at the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency – is not true.”
“And now they said the president is traveling and he would be away for 20 days, and from there to Saudi Arabia, and from there to Austria – not truth to it.’’
He, therefore, urged Nigerians to be careful with what they consume as news, and also share with others, particularly from the social media.
“Members of the First Family, Ministers, top government officials, the military, and other key institutions, are equally objects of this orchestrated falsehood, coming from enemies of national cohesion.
“We urge Nigerians to be discriminatory about what they accept as credible information, and restrain themselves from sharing what they have not authenticated as genuine.
“That is how we can all collectively beat the malevolent minds at their pernicious games,’’ he added.
Unfounded information has been making the rounds that President @MBuhari is billed to travel to the United Kingdom for 20 days, and from there proceed to Saudi Arabia, and then Austria. Fake. It is nothing but falsehood.
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) February 17, 2020