A former Nigerian Minister for education said on Friday that it was “unthinkable, worrisome and unacceptable” for any decent person to be praying for President Muhammadu Buhari to die or be circulating rumours of his death on the social media.
“The repetition of the circulation and extended twisted news online demonstrated how far people can go for power,” said ex-Minister for Education Olorogo Kenneth Gbagi.
Rumours about President Buhari’s death have first appeared last week and even after the presidency dismissed them, they continued this week, prompting the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, to issue a warning that those behind the rumours would be prosecuted.
Mr. Gbagi said Nigerians should rather be praying for President Buhari to be healthy and guide the nation well instead of being unwell or dying in power.
“At this moment of time Nigeria need peaceful and harmonious prayers from all religious gathering, political grouping devoid of any violence or threat to our democratic dispensation and it is unacceptable”, the former minister said on Thursday in London.
He urged the Nigerian people to exercise more patience and verify stories before accepting them or sharing and advised the media owners, to remember the ethics of the profession and to verify all reports before they publish.
Also the Nigeria Leadership Forum (NLF) a think-tank on Nigeria and Africa’s affairs berated those behind the stories and condemned them. Speaking on the issue, Dr. Yomiade said: “it is a sad situation that Nigerians are taken for ride by unscrupulous media platform”.
He said the forum was pleased with responses from Nigeria and wish all Nigerians to unite in fighting falsehood and strengthening religious tolerance as well as living together in unity.
He reiterated that there is no doubt there are so many rumours and false news being peddled around about Nigeria by people, organisations and groups who don’t wish the country or it’s people well.
“We cannot avoid getting some of these fakes news but plead with all Nigerians to exercise some discretion in their dissemination. Let’s remember that even younger people in high places have fallen ill. We should let Mr. President enjoy his holiday and reserve any comments until at least after his 10 days holiday”, he added.