Ijaw leader and elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, has the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, spread fake news during his recent trip to the United States and so should be sanctioned.
Clark was reacting to Mohammed’s accusation of treason and call for interim government leveled against the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed.
In a statement he personally signed, Clark called on President Muhammadu Buhari to caution Mohammed to prevent him from diving the country.
Clark said, “I am of the opinion that he (Lai Mohammed) should be charged with spreading unhealthy information and fake news against an innocent Nigerian who is very prominent and has proven his worth in the country.
“Lai Mohammed used the exalted position of the office of the nation’s Ministry of Information to commit this perfidy.
“For me, what Lai Mohammed is doing with the office today is disappointing. His recent trip to the United States of America, on the issue of Interim National Government, to damage the reputation of Mr Peter Obi’s rising profile, to me, is an effort in futility, because Lai Mohammed did not base his accusations on any report or information given by any state agency, but on mere propaganda targeted at destroying the reputation of an innocent citizen.
“If I may continue further, why will the Minister of Information take more than usual interest in not only scandalising and lying against Peter Obi but using his privileged position to circulate same to the country and the entire world?”
Clark wondered why Obi was singled out by Mohammed while prominent Nigerians, such as Aare Afe Babalola and Rev Chris Okotie, were ignored when they spoke about interim government.
He said, “There were very few politicians in the corridors of power who believe that the Buhari administration had performed exceedingly well. It was during this period of uncertainty that many Nigerians came out patriotically and felt that they should speak out, even though they were not partisan politicians, and one of them is Chief Afe Babalola, an honest and self-made Nigerian. It was during this period he made an honest and sincere contribution, that it maybe difficult to have a free, fair and credible elections. It was at this juncture of a failing Nigeria that he suggested that Nigeria should have an Interim National Government.”
Clark accused Mohammed of latching onto Obi’s comment “for cheap political gain.”
“Mr Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour party in the just concluded presidential elections, has never taken the laws into his hands. He is going about his case, in the constitutionally provided way. He was the first to seek redress in court over what he felt was an unfair and unjust manner of conducting elections. It is his constitutional right to do so. Muhammadu Buhari, in the number of times he contested and failed elections, did same. We all know that at no time from the beginning of the current political season did His Excellency, Peter Obi make any statement that in whatever manner, constituted a breach or threat to the peace and security of this country.
“The question that Lai Mohammed needs to answer is to tell Nigerians on what platform, at what time and in what manner did Peter Obi make the supposed treasonable or seditious remarks?”