JOURNALISTS, on Monday, January 4, 2021, listened to Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, brief the media, in a new year message, in Lagos. They must have been weathered, listening to Mohammed’s odd language, faulting local and international comments that rated Nigeria as a failed state. He described critics of Buhari’s government as: “jaundiced analysts”. Also, that such analysts constituted themselves into “fighting force” against the government.
“You would remember that for the past two decades or so, some pseudo-analysts have been predicting the country’s implosion. That has not happened, hence they have found a new watchword – failing or failed state! It’s all a ruse aimed at depicting Nigeria as being in a constant state of anarchy so they can achieve their nefarious objectives for the country”, Mohammed told the journalists.
IN A WAR PATH, new year media address, Mohammed, berated the International Criminal Court, ICC, for calling for investigation, into possible war crimes, by the nation’s security forces. He described the call as “harassment.” That the ICC’s call could “distract the troops from fighting insurgents in the country”.
“While our security agencies continue to battle these bandits and terrorists, the ICC and some international human rights organisations, especially Amnesty International, have constituted themselves to another ‘fighting force’ against Nigeria, constantly harassing our security forces and threatening them with investigation and possible prosecution over alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes.
“ICC, Amnesty International and their cohorts should desist from threatening our troops and putting the security of our country in jeopardy. Enough is enough. It is sad that these organizations mostly rely on fake news and disinformation to reach their conclusions, as witnessed during the Endsars protest when CNN – an otherwise respected global news network – went to town with fake news of a massacre”.
Mohammed added: “Let me say straight away that Nigeria is fending off attacks on many fronts, not just from terrorists and bandits, but also from some human rights organizations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) which seem to have colluded to exacerbate the challenges facing the country in the area of security.”
“Nigeria is a sovereign state and will not surrender its sovereignty to any organization. ICC, Amnesty International and their cohorts should desist from threatening our troops and putting the security of our country in jeopardy. Enough is enough”.
FOTOU BENSOUDA, International Criminal Court Prosecutor, in December 2020, announced that there was enough evidence to open a full probe into the ongoing violence in Nigeria by both the Islamist insurgents and security forces. The announcement came, following continued violence that wreak havoc in the northeast, where about 76 people, were reported to have slaughtered by Boko Haram jihadists.
Bensouda’s statement, issued at the ICC’s Headquarters, in The Hague, said: “Following a thorough process, I can announce today that the statutory criteria for opening an investigation into the situation in Nigeria have been met.”
GOOD SELLING message, often, begins with good selling techniques, and an exceptional image maker. Political analysts and observers see Mohammed as a “toxic image maker” for Buhari’s government. A government that is believed to be in dare need of image laundering, to enable it get past performance in the past five years – when terrible times, never seen in the past decades, besieged the country.
Mechanism for selling good messages about government activities and performance to the public, are available to Lai Mohammed, in the Ministry of Information And Culture, which he heads; but being misused. Perhaps, there are no good messages from Buhari’s government to the public. And Mohammed, diverts attention with uncomplimentary and twisted messages on behalf of the government.
The Ministry of Information And Culture, is meant to relate and engage meaningfully between government and the governed, and the international community at large. Democracy is government of the people. The people needed to ask the leaders they voted into office, to provide them democracy dividend questions, and demand convincing answers.
Observers noted that Lai Mohammed, seemed to be moving the nation backward with his public utterances on behalf of government – both national and international levels; and working against democracy by his use of uncomplimentary language when relating with the public.
His ministerial characteristics, as Minister of Information and Culture, are perceived as pompous nonsense. Mohammed is seen as working with the mentality, as if he is still in opposition party; rather than working for a national government, with commitments to the international community.