The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says the call for his arrest and prosecution for admonishing Labour Party Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, over inciting the public to violence is unjustifiable.
Clark, who is also Former Federal Commissioner for Information and Leader of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), said as Minister of Information for eight years now, rather than unite the country, Mohammed has caused more” divisions in the country”.
According to Clark, Mohammed’s attempt to damage Obi’s reputation and rising profile were an exercise in futility.
He said the minister 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.
The elder statesman condemned the minister’s treating the media with levity, saying under his watch, the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) is no longer independent.
He wondered why the Minister of Information will take more than usual interest in not only scandalising and lying against Peter Obi but using his privileged position to circulate the same to the country and the entire world.
Clark called on President to call the nation’s spokesmen to order, noting that the “nation is already too tensed; those whose responsibility it is to douse the tension should not be the ones stoking the embers of a fire that will flame up the country.”
Mohammed said he stood by his admonition of Obi and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, insisting that his advice was never premised on falsehood.
“What will be my offence? Is it by chiding vice presidential candidate of the Labour Party who said on live television that if the President-elect Bola Tinubu is sworn-in on May 29 that that would be the end of democracy in Nigeria?
“Is it for chiding him for saying that swearing-in Tinubu in May 29 is like swearing-in the military?
“What is the fake news in that?” the minister queried.
The minister said vice-president of the Labour Party Datti Baba-Ahmed had never denied his statement made on the live television.
Mohammed also wondered why his principal, Peter Obi had not publicly called his running mate to order over the treasonable utterances.
“The position of the law is clear that anybody who is aggrieved over election results should go to court.
“It is not to start threatening Nigerians and heating up the polity simply because you lost an election,” he said.
Mohammed emphasized that the APC won the presidential election “fair and square” and INEC was right in declaring Tinubu the winner.
He reassured Nigerians and the international community that the president- elect would be sworn-in on May 29.