Minister of Information and Culture Does Not Have Covid-19 - The People's Voice


Sunday, December 26, 2021

Minister of Information and Culture Does Not Have Covid-19

Minister of Information and Culture Does Not Have Covid-19

By Our Correspondent

The attention of the office of the Honourable Minister of Information
and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has been drawn to a report making
the rounds that he has contracted the Covid-19 virus and that he is
now in isolation, where he is receiving treatment.

For the record, the Minister does not have Covid-19, hence he is
neither in isolation nor receiving treatment anywhere.

That report, which was first published by an online newspaper and then
latched on to by some mainstream lapdog media, once again highlights
the uphill task we face in our campaign to stamp out fake news and

A journalism mantra says 'when in doubt, leave it out'. Also embedded
in the code of ethics for journalists are the basic principles of
truthfulness and accuracy, among others. The report in question did
not meet those standards.

The Minister was at the Federal Executive Council meeting on
Wednesday, an extraordinary FEC meeting on Thursday and also witnessed
the swearing-in of the Minister of State for Works and Housing on
Friday. All these events took place at the Villa, where the
correspondents of many media organizations are deployed. In fact, the
Minister coordinated the post-FEC press briefing on Wednesday and
Thursday. Could he have done this from
the imaginary isolation centre where he was consigned by a mischievous reporter?

As a member of the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19, the
Minister has the added responsibility of leading by example, hence
would not have hesitated to publicly announce his Covid-19 status if
indeed he has contracted the virus. After all, he is not only fully
vaccinated, he has also taken the booster shot, a situation that
offers him different layers of protection even if he contracts the
virus. For those who contract the virus, they deserve our empathy and
prayers, not stigmatization.

The media does itself a great disservice by making 'exclusive news'
out of beer parlor gist. Sooner or later, the truth will come out and
a fake-news-peddling-organization will have its credibility dented for

In the best tradition of journalism, we expect the online newspaper
behind this fake news not only to retract the publication but also to
apologize to the Minister for causing him such embarrassment,
especially in a season of joy.

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