The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has reiterated the government’s stance that President Muhammadu Buhari is neither critically ill nor in life threatening situation.
The minister reiterated this position on Monday in Umuahia at the second town hall meeting for the south-east and the launch of national reorientation campaign, “Change Begins With Me’’ in Abia.
Mr. Mohammed, who was asked to tell the country about the health condition of the president and whether there was need for a regular briefing on his health, stressed that there was no reason for such briefings.
He disclosed that the president spoke with him on Saturday in the afternoon and there was no reason for Nigerians to be worried.
“I can say here very boldly and confidently that there is absolutely no cause for alarm.
“Mr president called me at 2.43 p.m. on Saturday and we spoke.
“If Mr. President is in the hospital or is critically ill, as minister of information, I will give daily bulletin on his health.
“Mr. President is neither critically ill nor in the hospital and there is nothing life threatening about the checks he is going through,’’ he said.
President Buhari has been out of the country, in the UK, for medical reasons for 39 days.
Speaking on the state of the economy, the minister said that it was corruption that made the prices of commodities to go up.
He noted that no economy in the world could survive the blind and reckless looting perpetrated by the previous administration.
“If one person was found with almost $10 million in an uncompleted house and another with $136 million in fake account and other with N7 billion, how can the economy survive the kind of looting.
“Naturally the price of commodities will go up.
“These are funds meant for development of infrastructure and for provision of services.
“That is why you cannot do anything with the economy without first facing corruption squarely.
“But the good news is that the government is doing both together. As we are fighting corruption, we are also making sure that we are ensuring we are out of recession by investing heavily on infrastructure.”
Mr. Mohammed also pacified the audience who lamented the spate of attacks on farmers by herdsmen.
He said contrary to the position of some elements who want to destroy the unity of the country, the government was not supporting any section of the country against the other.
He said it was a purely security issue and it was being handled from both the federal and the state levels.
“I want to make the appeal that the strength of Nigeria is in its diversity and unity.
“We have been living together peacefully before and we shall continue to live together peacefully,” he said.
Speaking in same vein, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, apologised on behalf of the Federal Government to the farmers who had suffered from the ugly trend.
“We in the Ministry of Agriculture are mostly affected in this crisis and frankly we feel deeply disturbed about it.
“Like the two traditional rulers had said, you asked people to go and farm and there is this problem of herdsmen tormenting them and their cattle eating up their crops.
“It is affecting not only the farmers but the food that they are supposed to produce and sell to the society.
“As a farmer, nothing can be more upsetting to wake up and find out that my farm has been destroyed.
“They have done it to me and I know how it badly affected me but we will bring the challenge to an end very soon,’’ he said.
Mr. Ogbeh said the Federal Government is training 3000 agro rangers who will protect farms in different places.