Mohammed: I didn’t contract COVID-19

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said reports that he has contracted COVID-19 and is in isolation, where he is receiving treatment were not true.

The minister, in a statement by his special assistant (media) Segun Adeyemi on Sunday, said he was at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, the 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 organisations 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?” the statement wondered.

It added that as a member of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Alhaji Mohammed has the added responsibility of leading by example, and said he would not have hesitated to publicly announce his COVID-19 status indeed he has contracted the virus.

The minister stated that he is not only fully vaccinated, but has also taken the booster shot, a situation, he said 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 stigmatisation,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed advised the media to always cross check their stories before going to press, noting that “the media does itself a great disservice by making ‘exclusive news’ out of beer parlour gist.

“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.

“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.”

Leave a Reply