Nigerians have been reacting to comments by the Minister of Information Alhaji Lai Mohammed, claiming that the Federal Government spend N3.5million monthly to feed the detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, otherwise known as Shi’ites, Ibrahim El Zakzaky.
Most Nigerians who spoke on the issue said it is shocking to know that the government spend such amount to feed just one man, especially in a government that claims it is fighting corruption.
Nigeria’s Information minister, Lai Mohammed, had claimed that the government spends about N3.5 million monthly to feed a Shiite cleric who has been detained by government for over two years.
Nigerians who spoke with newsreportersng.com said: “it is a big lie. That claim is outrageous and so big a lie to create crisis in Nigeria.”
Indeed, Dr Amos Akogun said: “That lie was just floated so that there can be an avenue to steal money. If not, where in this country that you spend such an amount to feed one person. It is a lie.”
Julius Okechukwu a public commentator said “It is a shame for a government that claims it is fighting corruption to be making this type of startling revelation. This clearly show that this government is not fighting corruption and that they are just busy taking Nigerians for a ride.”
Senator Ben Bruce on his Twitter handle said: “If President @MBuhari can afford ₦3.5 million per month to feed Ibrahim El Zakzaky, then I don’t see why he can’t find afford ₦30,000 per month to pay the new minimum wage. Or should Nigerian workers join Zakzaky in detention so they can feed at ₦116,000 a day too?”
Reno Omokri also on Twitter said: “It cost the FG about ₦3.5million naira monthly to feed El Zakzakky”-Lie Mohammed. ₦3.5 million a month is ₦116,000 a day. Where did @MBuhari find this monumental LIAR from? They should change his title to Minister of misinformation and national Disorientation.”
— AdForumCo (@AdForumCo) November 8, 2018
Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leader of the Shiite IMN movement has been detained since December 2015 after soldiers clamped down on his supporters killing at least 347 of them. The army accused them of blocking a public road being used then by the army chief, Tukur Buratai.
The massacre has been condemned by local and international rights groups and is currently being investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Although no soldier is being tried or has been prosecuted for the killings, Mr El-Zakzaky has been detained by the government since the December 2015 incident. The government also ignored a court ruling that ordered that he be released and paid compensation alongside his detained wife, Zinat.
Mr El-Zakzaky was initially held for about two years alongside his wife, Zinat, without trial. After much public outcry, he was charged before a Kaduna court for alleged conspiracy and abating culpable homicide.
Mr Mohammed’s statement on the Shiite leader is believed to have been made on Wednesday, same day the Kaduna court denied Mr El-Zakzaky bail.