The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Wednesday described a statement credited to the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Markafi, on the recent rumoured death of President Muhammadu Buhari as a “silly thing.”
He also said that Buhari “is hale and hearty.”
Mohammed said this while answering reporters’ questions at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Markafi had while speaking with journalists in Kaduna on Tuesday alleged that some leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress were behind the rumoured death of the President.
He said it was APC leaders who were interested in contesting certain positions in 2019 that were behind the rumour.
“The APC should point its searchlight inward and investigate itself as to the source of the rumour. The PDP has nothing to gain from anything; those who are peddling the rumour know themselves and they are in the APC.
“Some of them are already positioning themselves for power in 2019. The APC should investigate itself,” he had said.
But Mohammed said he would not join the debate because there were more serious national issues to attend to.
The minister said, “I don’t want to lend my voice to a very silly thing. I will not join this debate. I think there are more serious issues of state to discuss than this issue.
“It is only in this part of the world that you wake up in the morning and you say the President of the country is dead. I will not join that kind of debate at all.”
In a statement later issued by his Special Adviser, Segun Adeyemi, the minister urged Nigerians to disregard the subversive messages being circulated via text messaging and the Social Media that President Buhari had died.
He said the fabricated messages were being orchestrated by those who were threatened by the emerging order.
Mohammed said there was no iota of truth in the messages being circulated on the health of the President, “who is hale and hearty,” and the purported emergency meetings of the state governors in Abuja or anywhere.
He said the naysayers had also resorted to the use of ethnicity and religion as tools to divide Nigerians, overheat the polity and cause panic among the citizenry, in addition to using fake news and disinformation to distort government activities.