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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, May 30, said one of the ministers he feels pity for is the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed.
President Muhammadu Buhari in a handshake with the oldest Photojournalist of Triumph Newspapers in the State House, Alhaji Ladan Abubakar. With them is the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed , Shehu Garba.

President Muhammadu Buhari in a handshake with the oldest Photojournalist of Triumph Newspapers in the State House, Alhaji Ladan Abubakar. With them is the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed , Shehu Garba.

His reason is because Mohammed was saddled with the responsibility of explaining government’s progress or lack of it to the people, The Cable reports.

Speaking at the presidential villa in Abuja, while hosting state house correspondents, Buhari said: “One of the men I pity is Lai Mohammed. Everyday he is on TV explaining our performance or lack of it

“The ministers sit down day and night to work. Some of them have literarily lost weight because they were sleeping less and eating less (while working on the budget). They were working on every kobo to be spent.”

According to him, he and his cabinet members were doing everything possible to deliver the change promised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the electioneering campaign.

He said the change mantra had to go through hell as they found out Nigeria was poor and there was nothing to fall back to.

“And for you to talk to whoever came to visit us throughout that year, I wonder how each of your diaries would be, because people were expecting this change mantra in their own way.

“How do you define change? Luckily our party identified three major items, security, economy and corruption,” the president added.

On why he reduced the number of ministries from 42 to 24, Buhari said government could not continue with 42 ministers and the paraphernalia of office.

The president pointed out that most of the permanent secretaries that were there only knew how things were done in the previous years and they had to be disengaged because of lack of commitment.

He said: “Things were even more difficult during the budget which you all know about. For somebody like me, for the first time I heard what is called padding.

“I think we will recover by the fourth quarter of the year, what padding means especially for ministers who had implement what padding contains. There were very serious developments which I never knew about.”

Talking about his experience in Aso Villa, he said the past one year was a tumultuous year for everyone in the Villa, adding that there is a possibility of the economy recovering in the last quarter of the year.

“Things were even more difficult during the budget which you all know about. For somebody like me, for the first time I heard what is called padding. I think we will recover by the fourth quarter of the year, what padding means especially for ministers who had implement what padding contains. There were very serious developments which I never knew about,” Buhari stated.

Mohammed’s hard work as a former spokesman for the ruling APC, earned him the enviable position of the minister of information and culture in Nigeria. However, he is being referred to “Liar Mohammed”  by some Nigerians who are tired of his excuses for government’s failure.
9:20 AM

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