By: on November 28, 2020
His emotive and chaotic response during the flare-up in Nigeria-Ghana relations in August was a yellow flag for me I HAVE known the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, for a long time, I think. Before I got close, I was first drawn to him when he was chief of staff to former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, even though I had known him earlier at the Nigerian Airports Authority. But my interest grew from knowing to fascination and from fascination to respect w...
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By: on October 31, 2020
In January, Minister of Information Lai Mohammed gave an interview to the German broadcaster DW where he comprehensively and repeatedly denied all knowledge of the “Protection from Internet Falsehood & Manipulation” bill, also known as the “Social Media” bill. When DW’s Tim Sebastian asked him point blank “Are you in support of this bill or not?” Mr. Mohammed’s answer was “I’m not even aware of that bill.” Given the year that 2020 has turned out to be, one would be forgiven for forgetting tha...
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By: on September 17, 2020
Dear Alhaji Lai Mohammed, I didn’t know I would have to comment on the state of the nation again so soon after a recent response to presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, on the courage exhibited by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in running Nigeria. Last week, former President Olusegun Obasanjo expressed the concerns of many Nigerians about the state of the nation and concluded that Buhari and his team must take heed to prevent Nigeria from becoming a failed st...
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By: on August 24, 2020
Once reputed as the freest press in Africa, the Nigerian Press is sliding down on a quick pace as one of the worst. The litany of the subterfuge against the press in Nigeria is reaching a crescendo during this administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling party. It is like a premeditated onslaught to bring the press on its knees to assuage the whims and caprices of those who hold the levers of power. We are witnesses to these significant events that have blighted the record of N...
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By: on August 23, 2020
Information Minister Lai Mohammed seems obsessed with stricter regulation of freedom of expression. It is for the sake of Nigeria’s peace and stability, he has said on various occasions. Yet, the case could be made that his obsession with muffling public discussion may well be a liability to that cause. Beyond the minister, the Lai liability extends to all the Nigerian leaders who—to appropriate an Igbo proverb— chase after rats while their home is burning. Early in August, the information m...
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By: on August 20, 2020
On August 7, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, appeared on a live TV show where he announced the hike in the N500,000 fine for “hate speech” in the amended National Broadcasting Commission Code by 450 per cent. According to Mohammed, the increase was to stem the flagrant violation of the code because the fine was “very easy to pay.” Faced with the dilemma of people violating a code that already comes with a hefty fine, the solution should not be more fines. They should question ...
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