The Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed has claimed that the Federal Government spends N3.5 million monthly to feed the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been detained by the government for over two years.
El-Zakzaky, the leader of the Shiite 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.
But the minister, while issuing an update on the whereabouts and safety of the Shi’ites leader and his wife, made this comment while addressing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday.
“The issue about where he is, I think let’s keep it off record,” Mohammed said when asked about the whereabouts of Sheikh El-Zakzaky.
Speaking further, Mohammed said: “That he is in a residence, eating and I mean, it costs the government about N3.5 million every month to feed him,” Mohammed said to the amusement of the reporters as they responded with laughter.
Responding to the reactions of the reporters, the minister said: “honestly these are the facts,” stressing that “I asked” in reference to the feeding fee of the Shi’ites leader.
A video of Mr Mohammed making the claim while addressing some journalists has since gone viral.
It cost government N3.5 million to feed El-Zakzaky every month – Lai Mohammed.
— Umeh and 99 others (@UmehOMA) November 8, 2018