Former Special Assistant to ex- President Goodluck Jonathan on New Media, Mr. Reno Omokri, has advised the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, to leave the former president out of his â€˜tales by moonlightâ€™ on the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), and concentrate on his job as information minister and not minister for propaganda.
Omokri said in a statement yesterday that the insinuations in the press conference given by Mohammed last Sunday, accusing the opposition of sponsoring IPOB was another clear indication that the present administration has not left propaganda mode for proper agenda mode, two and a half year into their tenure.
The former presidential aide further stated that the fact that Mohammed mentioned that Nnamdi Kanu preached Nigerian unity during the administration of Jonathan has also portrayed this administration as an administration in propaganda mode.
According to him, if the government in which Mohammed serves, knows which opposition members are sponsoring IPOB, then they should identify them, arrest them and then prosecute them.
â€œEver since Lai Mohammed made his ill advised statement, a principal member of the All Progressive Congress government and the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, has come out to say that the actions in the South-east are troubling and some of it are unconstitutional. Is he also sponsoring IPOB too? It is our suspicion that Mohammed is talking from history seeing as he criticised the Jonathan government for banning Boko Haram in a statement he released on June 10, 2013, even though the Jonathan government had gone through due process before proscribing that murderous sect,â€ Omokri said.
â€œPerhaps Lai Mohammed thinks everybody is like him and those he represents.
â€œI also commend the governors of the South-east for cooperating with the military and in the process saving lives and property. It is a noble act that should not be ignored,â€ Omokri added.
Reacting to the plans by the Buhari administration to extend the military show of force to the South-south and the South-west through Operation Crocodile Smile, Omokri advised the present administration to thread with caution, adding that Nigeria is no longer under military rule.
â€œIn a democracy, you separate the military from the police. The military is not meant to fight criminality within a nation because they are trained to fight a nationâ€™s external enemies. It is the police that are trained to fight crime internally,â€ he said.
He argued that when the military starts doing the job of the police and starts fighting or doing what they call a â€˜show of forceâ€™, the effect will not be to reduce crime but to intimidate people.
Omokri reminded Mohammed that the time for propaganda is gone, adding also that the time for blaming Jonathan for all the unfulfilled promises of the APC government is over.
â€œRome may not have been built in a day, but from day one you could see evidence of builders building up Rome. But what have we seen in the last two and a half years of the Muhammadu Buhari administration? We see a government that from day one has been blaming instead of building,â€ he said.
He also reminded Mohammed that under the Jonathan administration, the ministry of information had annual ministerial briefing where the media and civil society groups interrogated cabinet ministers on the activities of their departments.
According to Omokri, â€œ100 days briefing was given to Nigerians on the governmentâ€™s vision and one year briefings was given to the nation on government activities. An elaborate mid-term briefing was also given by that government to the country on the achievements of the administration.â€