Lai Mohammed (born 6 December 1951) is a Nigerian lawyer and politician best known as the Minister of Information and Culture since 2015.
He successfully carried out his first term as a minister under President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration from 2015 to 2019. After a successful screening by the Senate, he was reinstated for a second term as minister of the same ministry of Information and Culture as his previous term.
The minister is a professional lawyer, an ardent politician, skilled businessman, father, and husband. He attended several prestigious schools and worked in different organizations in Nigeria’s private and government sectors. Amidst all of these, he is one of the most vocal and controversial politicians in the Buhari administration.
How Old Is Lai Mohammed and Where Is He From?
The 71–year-old minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was born on the 6th of December 1951 to the family of Alhaji Mohammed of Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State in the North-Central geopolitical zone. He was born into a devout Yoruba-Muslim family, and he is a native of Oro.
Mohammed lived his earliest life in Kwara, where he started his educational pursuit. Nevertheless, in the progression of time, he found himself going to different parts of Nigeria and other countries. He spent years of his life in Lagos, and his activeness in the affairs of the State has won him the title of a Lagosian and a Lagosian politician. Nevertheless, he still found his way back home to become one of the most notable politicians in Kwara State.
A Complete Look Into The Educational Background of The Minister
The well-read minister began his educational journey early and has attended several institutions within and outside Nigeria. Some of the most notable of these institutions of learning are given below:
- The Native Authority School Igbaja in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State.
- He then proceeded to a couple of post-primary schools, first at BabokoIllorin, then the Government College at KeffiNasarawa State, and the Government Secondary School Okene in Kogi State.
- In 1975, he graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in French.
- Going further to study Law at the University of Lagos, where he graduated with LL.B (Hons), attending Law School at the Nigerian Law School, and successfully called to bar as a member of the Nigerian Bar Association in 1986.
- He also attended the Centre Audio Visuel de LanguesModernes, Vichy, France
The versatility in his studies and places he traveled to has played an important role in making the seasoned politician well acquainted with several regions and experiences. His Excellency underwent the National Youth Service Corps, popularly known as NYSC, at Abeokuta in Ogun State. Thereafter, he began his official work experience, which eventually glided him into the world of politics.
He Worked in Different Sectors Before Venturing into Politics
As a young man, Lai Mohammed was employed as a Graduate Assistant at the University of Illorin. He served at the university until he moved to the Nigerian Ports Authority between 1978 and 1987, serving in portfolios of Senior PRO, Principal PRO, and Assistant Chief PRO. Between the years 1987 and 1988, he worked in the capacity of Corporate Secretary at the Nigerian Ports Authority.
In 1989, following his call to Bar, Alhaji Lai Mohammed became the co-founder and actively principal partner at EDU & MOHAMMED (ATTORNEYS-AT-LAW) from 1989 to 1999. In addition to these, he is a recognized fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).
His career in law did not limit him to the corners of the courtroom. Still, the minister grew in his career and was once the Chairman of Limited company Optmedia, a subsidiary of Afromedia Plc, from 18 December 2008. Subsequently, he served as a Director with the mother company, Afromedia Plc, since May 2011.
How Did Lai Mohammed Venture into Politics?
For the fervent politician, his journey into Nigerian politics began in Lagos State. In the arms of politics, he was a founding member of the Social Democratic Party and a member of the National Democratic Coalition. He remains a Bola Ahmed Tinubu loyalist and the All Progressive Congress (APC) National Publicity Secretary. In 1998, he was the coordinator of the campaign organization for Bola Tinubu’s gubernatorial aspirations. Following the success of the election, he advanced to be Tinubu’s Chief of Staff from 1999 until 2002.
October 2002 came with a declaration by the honorable minister, expressing his interest to run for the Kwara State Governor’s office in 2003 under the umbrella of the Alliance for Democracy. Unfortunately, the tense political scene immobilized his ambitions. In the days leading up to the election, five vehicles in his convoy were smashed in, and he was assaulted at the entrance of Senator Ajadi’s campaign office at Oke-Onigbin in the course of the festivities.
Under President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration, he has served a full term and is currently serving a second tenure as the Minister of Information and Culture of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The first term began in 2015 and ran until 2019, when he scaled through to continue after a positive senate screening as the presidential appointment.
Over the course of his political career, he has authored a book titled “Witness to History,” which he wrote in 2003. Also, he has been awarded the “Leadership Nigerian Politician of the Year” for the years 2008 and 2012.
Lai Mohammed is One of The Most Controversial Politicians in Nigeria
As the minister of information, the immense tasks embedded in national representation fall on him and in the light of the country’s challenges on insecurity, unemployment, the economy, and other sensitive areas. Also, the task of informing the local and international community about the affairs of Nigeria has fallen on his shoulders. By the seat of the office, his words and actions are of keen note to the common citizenry, especially media houses. This has rather added to his becoming a controversial man.
At the end of most issues of national interest such as the kidnappings, the #ENDSARS protest, the Twitter ban (and social media regulation by extension), corruption, and the general state of the government sectors and the economy; the minister is often noted to give broad and multi-viewed answers at interviews. While some have accounted it as a sign of incompetence, others explain his actions as an attempt to keep the presidential administration in good light, whether at the expense of the common person or not. For this reason, and perhaps more than Nigerians have nicknamed the minister ‘Lie Lie Mohammed.’ In summary, there is no doubt his office is a sensitive one and will be hardly free of public scrutiny.
Meet Lai Mohammed’s Wife and Four Children
Alhaji Lai Mohammed is a practicing Muslim, and together with his one wife, they are blessed with four children. He has been married to Mrs. Kudirat Adeoti for over 3 decades (m. 1979). The minister’s wife is a businesswoman who maintains a modest taste in personal fashion while enterprising in high fashion locally made pieces. She is involved in the production of batik, adire, and tie-dye attires. On the controversies surrounding her husband’s position, she says that she tries to stay away from external things and focus on her home. In addition, when she sees news bits and asks the honorable minister, he often tells her to leave the news alone to which she has found important to do so.
The rich Nigerian politician and his wife are blessed with four children who are making very profound strides in their chosen career paths. Their first son, Hon. Jubril Folajimi Mohammed, is a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, representing Ikeja 1. In an interview, he mentioned how their father opposed any of his children going into politics. However, he decided it was what he was passionate about to become a lawmaker and so went on putting all his gear in place to a point where his father could not but give him a nudge forward.
Their first daughter is known as Yeside Laguda. She is a graduate of Chemistry who has delved far from her course of study and is now the founder and CEO of My Q Lifestyle, a fashion designing company. Yeside’s sister and Mohammed’s second daughter, Aishat, maintains a low profile away from the limelight.
Although, her wedding was graced by top politicians and high-ranking individuals on 22nd December 2013 when she married Bonnyamin Taiwo at the All Seasons Plaza Agidingbi, Ikeja Lagos. There is sketchy information regarding the 4th child of the minister and his wife.