Nigeria’s propaganda minister Lai Mohammed was in typical “Comical Ali” denial mode during an Al Jazeera interview today.
He claimed that things were “not quite” as bad as the interviewer suggested, and that the government was “on top of the situation” in terms of security. This is coming as possibly up to a thousand people have died within a month from Fulani herdsmen, Boko Haram and electoral violence in the northeast, Middle Belt and Rivers State.
Watch the interview:
He stated that Boko Haram have been “dislodged” from territories they previously held. This claim has already been challenged by General David Rodriguez, commander of U.S. Africa Command, who told the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington last week that Boko Haram “does own some significant territory in northern Nigeria.”
Comical Lai went on to claim that Boko Haram were “on the way out”.
On the economy, he argued that “the outlook was bright”. Not that many Nigerians would share in his optimism, especially as his claims that the government was seeking to diversify the economy were undermined by the fact that there was more money in its proposed budget for the Ministry of Information (headed by Comical Lai) than for agriculture.