By Damola Emmanuel
As if he anticipated a bombardment from senators during his screening as a ministerial nominee on Tuesday, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the immediate past Minister of Information and National Orientation, prepared a soft landing for himself shortly before the exercise began.
He drew the attention of senators to his CV, and emphasised that his real name was what was clearly spelt out in the document.
“My name is as it appears on my CV, Your Excellency, President of the Senate, Distinguished senators,” the Oro, Kwara State-born soon-to-be-inaugurated minister declared. “That is my correct name.”
He then begged the lawmakers anticipatorily: “Please, don’t believe what they call me on social media. They call me all sorts of names.”
Truly, if you are a social media buff, you would need no crystal ball to know who people refer to as ‘Liar Mohammed’, ‘Lying Mohammed’ among others. The former Information Minister also knows he earned the sobriquets on account of his hard core defence of the administration.
But he usually dismissed such derogatory labels with a wave of his hand.
That was until one day, his seven-year-old grandson dropped the bombshell.
“I used to ignore it until my seven-year-old grandson asked me, ‘Why do they call you Liar Mohammed?” the minister-designate who may return to the Information Ministry continued.
He was taken aback. “How do I explain to a seven-year-old that it was politics?” Mohammed continued. “I told him: ‘Don’t mind them. They are bad people.’”
That set the tone for what turned out to be coronation of some sort for Lai Mohammed, as one senator after another took turns to eulogise him and his contribution to the nation. He was not asked a single question.
At the end of the exercise, he was asked to take a bow. He did, and left the chamber, metaphorically walking on air.