The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has explained why President Muhammadu Buhari chose to travel to the United Kingdom to seek medical treatment instead of Nigeria.
Speaking on Thursday during a live radio programme ‘Morning Crossfire’, on Nigeria Info Abuja 95.1FM, Lai Mohammed responded to live calls from citizens who questioned some of the current administration’s policies.
In response to an angry caller who had criticised the All Progressives Congress-led government for going back on its promise to bar public officials from travelling abroad for medical treatment at the expense of taxpayers, Lai Mohammed said:
“My answer is very simple. Mr President is our father, he is the leader of the nation and I think he deserves the best in terms of medical treatment.”
When asked why the Buhari-led government was flouting court orders regarding the release of some detained politically exposed persons, Lai Mohammed said:
“If it is a court order and the order is not appealed, then you have flouted the order.
“But if the order is appealed, then it is not a final order. Also, you have to balance national security with the rule of law. In the case of Ifeanyi Ubah, I think it is neither here nor there.”
However, a caller commended the Federal Government for its achievements but lamented the high cost of food prices, especially rice. In response, the minister said:
“The truth of the matter is that in 2015, this government imported 580,000MT of rice. We cut it down to 58,000MT in 2016 and we have saved about $200m in the process.
“Yes, we understand the cost of rice is still high and we are going to intervene through price fixing by subsidising the cost of transportation.”
In the meantime, on Thursday, June 1, over 400 orphans across the country offered special prayers for the quick recovery and good health of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The orphans, who were drawn from the 36 states and the FCT, prayed for God’s intervention for the quick recovery of the president in Abuja.
In the joint prayer session which was organised by a nongovernmental organisation – Change Ambassadors Forum (CAF), prayers were offered in the Muslim and Christian faiths, and the children were seen praying fervently for Buhari’s quick recovery and the nation at large.
The prayers were led by Deputy Imam of the Abuja National Mosque, Dr Kabiru Mohammed, and Bishop Musa Fomsin of the Unlimited Masses Church, Jos.
The initiator of the programme, Chief Samuel Pukat said the programme was to pray for God’s mercies on the president and grant him a quick recovery, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
“Based on what the orphans stand for, in the Bible and Qur’an, they have a special place in the heart of God, so we decided to bring them together to pray for the president.
“The politicians have prayed, the rich and poor have also prayed. Various people have prayed with different intentions in their heart but these noble ones, children, whose hope is in God and have nothing in their heart have also come to pray.
“We decided that these ones that have a heart that is close to God come and pray. We gathered them from different states and today they are here to offer prayers.
“We believe that as they called on God something very important will happen to our prayers and he (Buhari) will recover and return hale and hearty,” Pukat said.