The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has called on his critics to be fair and objective in their claims against him.
In an interview with Sun Newspaper, Mohammed said: “I challenge these people and I say fault me on facts, and not on emotions. Most of the things you see are purely emotional. Many of them believe that, because I played such a major role in the downfall of PDP, no matter what I do, they would criticise it.
“I want them to criticise me fairly. I want them to be objective; I’m ready to take them on. Take, for instance, one of them went back and said on December 22nd, 2009, I issued a statement that the minister of information should give daily bulletin on the health of Yar’Adua and I said you’re mixing things up,” he said.
Continuing, he said: “I think anybody who occupies a public office should know that this sort of thing goes with the terrain. But probably what I was not prepared for was the viciousness, and the pure hatred, and the lack of objectivity and divisiveness that now accompany it.
“As a spokesperson for the opposition political party, I was always very factual, I was very objective, and I didn’t go personally. And I keep saying, that I challenge anybody to come out and say ‘this is one lie you told when you were a spokesperson for the opposition’.
On President Muhammadu Buhari’s health status and vacation, Mohammed said: “Number one, Mr President is not ill; he is not in the hospital. So, there would be no need for me to give a bulletin. Two, Mr President complied with the constitution when he was leaving. He wrote a letter to the national assembly that he was leaving on a vacation.
“But during his vacation, he would take the opportunity to do some medical check-ups and while he’s away, the Vice-President would be acting president. So, I do not see the situation as the same.
“So, to you, my answer is very simple, it is that today, what we have is the politics of hatred, politics of grievances and politics of prejudice. And this would divide the polity.
“But I’m not afraid of being challenged; in fact, I love being challenged because I won’t go out without my facts. But when you start to quote me out of context, out of share hatred for whatever reason, you go personal, and you are not objective, that doesn’t slow me down. But it makes one sad that this country can be reduced to this level and that politics can be reduced to pure hatred, divisiveness, prejudice and grievances.”
The minister had been the subject of critics since he assumed office at the Ministry of Information, Arts and Culture.