A former Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clark, on Tuesday described as misleading claim by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, that President Muhammadu Buhari’s emergence in 2015 stopped the Boko Haram insurgents from declaring an Islamic state in Nigeria.
Mohammed had said at a media briefing in Abuja on December 15 that the decisive actions taken by the President stopped the insurgents from declaring an Islamic caliphate in the country.
He said: “With the way, the insurgents were going before this administration came into office, with their control of a vast swath of land the size of Belgium, with their freewheeling attacks in almost a dozen states, including the Federal Capital Territory which was hit at least five times, perhaps they could have achieved their aim of declaring an Islamic State in Nigeria if President Buhari had not acted decisively.”
But in a statement he personally signed, the elder statesman warned the minister against garbing himself with propagandist toga as if he was still the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He described as an outright falsehood Mohammed’s claim that President Buhari flushed out Boko Haram from 14 local government areas of Borno State and urged the minister to use his office to build bridges among Nigerians.
Clark said: “It was former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration that flushed out Boko Haram insurgents just before the 2015 general elections from the 14 local government areas they held in Borno State as against the claims by the Minister of information.
“Some lies are being fabricated against the former President because he was President of Nigeria where some people think they alone have the exclusive right to be that position.
“It is a blatant falsehood for Alhaji Lai Mohammed to claim that but for President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria would have been Islamised, that it was President Buhari government that sent Boko Haram out of the 14 Local Government Areas in Borno State.
“No patriotic Nigerian will believe Mohammed’s statement that it was President Buhari that prevented the takeover of Nigeria by Islam, rather, most Nigerians have the strong feeling that it is his government that has given or created the environment for the sect to return and be more daring. With all the menacing activities of this group, no armed herdsmen have been arrested. Is it by coincidence?
“It is unfortunate that Lai Mohammed has decided to garb himself with the propagandist toga, which he used to wear as the Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), forgetting that he is today, the Information Minister of the country, a position which he should use to build bridges between the Federal Government and the people of Nigeria, and across all divides in the country.”
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