28th May, 2023
By Rotimi Ijikanmi
Outgoing Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed says President Muhammadu Buhari is aware that a section of Nigerians erroneously call him “Baba Go Slow.”
“Baba Go Slow” is an appellation for a lackadaisical approach to issue of concerns.
The minister said this in Abuja at a send-forth party organised in his honour by the Board of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
Mohammed said Buhari erroneously earn the appellation because “he is tolerant, and a democrat who gives his Ministers free hand to discharge their duties without undue interference”.
The minister said: “We are always in the bad book of everybody. In the bad book of governments because they think we are too soft and in the bad book of naysayers because they say we are too strict.
“A station (Tv or Radio) will abuse government for a whole year, nobody will raise a finger. But if you try to impose fine or shut the station down the whole human rights family will now say, fire Lai Mohammed.
“I must give credit to Mr President. I have never seen a President as tolerant as President Muhammadu Buhari”.
He continued: “He has never said that Minister of Information and Culture go and close this station even when they are abusing him.
“One day, I was surprised at the cabinet when the President said, ‘I know they call me Baba Go Slow.” The President has become so democratised that he was being blamed. But I thank God that today, he is ending in a very good note.”
The minister urged the leadership of the NBC to continue to defend the Amended National Broadcasting Code and strengthen its implementation.
Specifically, he said it should develop a written framework for the code and create a department for its enforcement.
Mohammed appealed to the stakeholders in the industry and Nigerians at large to support the code and its provision stressing that it would benefit the industry.
According to him, if implemented, it will increase competition in the industry, promote local contents, reduce capital flight, create employment and help the industry to grow.
The minister also urged the NBC leadership not to rest on its oars in the implementation of the Digital Switch Over (DSO), that is, the process of transiting from analogue to digital broadcasting.