Information and Culture Minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed asked for a retraction and apology from an online newspaper which published that he had contracted the dreaded COVID-19 virus and is currently undergoing isolated treatment .
In a statement released on Sunday and made available to the press by the President’s Special Assistant for the Media, Segun Adeyemi, Alhaji Mohammed replied that he had not contracted COVID-19 and therefore could not not be isolated and receive treatment, as the website reported. Title.
The minister lamented that the false report had caused his person some embarrassment, especially in a season of joy, therefore demanded a retraction of the history and apologies of the newspaper in the best tradition of journalism.
Mohammed said he was at the Federal Executive Council meeting last week on Wednesday after an extraordinary FEC meeting on Thursday, as well as attending the swearing-in of the new Minister of State for Public Works and Housing. Friday.
The press release states: âAll these events took place at the Villa, where correspondents from many media are deployed.
âIn fact, the minister coordinated the post-FEC press briefing on Wednesday and Thursday.
“Could he have done this from the imaginary isolation center where he was recorded by a mischievous reporter?”
âAs a member of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, the Minister has the additional responsibility of leading by example.
âHe would not have hesitated to publicly announce his COVID-19 status if he had indeed contracted the virus.
âAfter all, he’s not just fully vaccinated; he also took the booster, a situation that offers him different layers of protection even if he contracts the virus.
âFor those who contract the virus, they deserve our empathy and prayers, not the stigma. “
Alhaji Mohammed stressed that the controversial report highlights the arduous task facing the government in the campaign to eradicate false information and disinformation in the country.
The minister stressed: âThere is a mantra in journalism that says ‘when in doubt, leave it out’.
âThe code of ethics for journalists also contains the basic principles of truthfulness and accuracy, among others. “
He therefore urged the media to refrain from doing themselves a disservice by “doing exclusive information on the essentials of beer halls”.