Lai Muhammed: Tells Maupe Ogun of Making “Mountain out of a Molehill”


Lai Muhammed, the minister of information and culture has described the difference between hate speech,libel and freedom of speech. In a chat with Channels TV, he made Maupe Ogun, the TV presenter understand the differences including libel.

He made it clear that the government isn’t meant to stifle the press or freedom of speech but to restore decorum. He reiterated the need that the federal government is in charge of the situation. He made it known that Nigeria is a complex country and the government is trying to thread with caution and he apparently made the it known that leaders of sections of country should try and stop it. He said that hate speech didn’t start today ,but by 2015.

On the minister of interior and his appeal to legislate hate speech, he said that at any point in time, the government is taking appropriate measure to stem hate speech and it’s under the terrorism act. But, that doesn’t mean that the country doesn’t have enough laws on hate speech and fake news. There is legislation on it but the government is concerned on incitement of a section of country.


On restructuring, he said that the government understands the term but those asking for Restructuring doesn’t understand it. He said that those that argues for Restructuring, has a lot of things on it like state police, state creation etc….he said that the nation must look into the definition of restructuring and the type of power that is devolved .


He reiterated that the need to look at the regions and have the oil major come to the zone of the South East and South South by the governors. When asked. He said that going back to former regions ,he said that there is need to sit down and define Restructuring. He defined Restructured as devolution of powers and ability of government to deliver the dividends of democracy and making the grassroots feel the impact of government. That was how Lai Muhammed defined Restructuring!

In terms of constitution ,he said that we might need to amend the laws of the land to accommodate the Restructuring. And he said that the government would look into it. He made it known that the cacophony of voices are higher today and the government is trying to make sense of it.

“From our own understanding of devolution not power, government has started encouraging community policing “he said.

When asked by Chamberlain on the monitoring of social media by the military, Lai Muhammed said that ” all over the world, it is the responsibility not the government to monitor people’s utterances and advice appropriately. It is a global practise “.

He added that ” I think what is important is the stability of the nation and go against anything that is anti security and anti government”.


On the former minister of petroleum, he said that the government would want the extradition of criminal or corrupt people and that is what government is looking at.

There is no limitation to where and when you can prosecute anybody who has committed a crime as it pertains to corruption. He said this pertaining to mutual legal assistance with countries friendly to Nigeria.

On bickering between Attorney General and EFFC on breaching of some certain laws , he said that it is not a contentious issue and just a quoting out of context. He said that ” it is important to have NFIEO to be completely independent and report to the presidency “.

Lai Muhammed said that making a mountain of the molehill is when people mistake simple things by the party members and he said that the issue of APC members having acrimonious relationship with each other is just “Making a mountain out of a molehill and the matter would be resolved ”

Anywhere in the world there is always issues where two government officials disagree ! There is an ongoing investigation and the matter is been looked into, he opined .

On not seeing ” eye to eye” by attorney general and EFCC is based on the method of fighting corruption and this is a purely administrative matter.


On inflation and food prices going up, Lai said that ” it’s true that the prices have gone up and the government is working on it ” he said that ” the government is inching the nation away out of recession and the capital inflow has increased to 95% by second quarter ” he reeled out.


In mining sector, he said that agriculture and mining has maintained a growth with agriculture leading. With such a statement.


” I think what is important is the stability of the nation and go against anything that is anti security and anti government”



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