Last week, there were explosive allegations made against the Minister of Communications. Old videos of the Minister seemingly offering support for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda surfaced, as well as a video where he said “We’re all happy when unbelievers are being killed…”
The Minister of Communications immediately reached out to Tomato News for an interview to clear the air.
We asked him about the damning videos and here is what he had to say.
“First of all, I just want to make it clear to everyone that my words were taken out of context. When I said I still consider Osama Bin Laden a better Muslim than myself, I wasn’t talking about in terms of piety but in terms of popularity. The name Osama Bin Laden is known by billions around the world. I was not expressing support for his terrorist activities, but simply lamenting about my lack of worldwide fame.”
We carried on with our interview and asked him if he understands how scary it is for Nigerians to have a Minister of Communications who once said “We are all happy whenever unbelievers are being killed.”
“Look, again, you are misinterpreting my statement. I didn’t say I am happy when unbelievers are being murdered. I said ‘We’, not ‘I’. And ‘Killed’, not ‘Murdered’. What I meant was, we are all happy when unbelievers are killed peacefully. After their deaths, what happens is that their souls are cleansed, and we’re all happy about that, believers and unbelievers alike.”
We applauded him for setting the record straight so the haters can finally be silenced. Still, we wanted him to speak directly to the millions of scared Nigerians and put their hearts to rest.
“What Nigerians have to understand is, even if there were hints of extremism in what I said, they should realize that those tapes are almost a decade old. I was a young boy of thirty years when I uttered those statements, and who takes the statements of a child seriously? Now I am an adult man, and if nothing else, your fears should be assuaged by the fact that I work for the most tolerant president in Nigerian history.”
We asked him to explain what he meant by “most tolerant president in Nigerian history” and here is how the Minister explained it.
“It takes a lot of tolerance to hire a guy who has previously made statements in support of terrorist groups. Less tolerant presidents would say a simple thing like that should disqualify you from being a member of any secular government in a multicultural society. But our current president has the wisdom to know that we’ve all been fanatics of certain groups at some point in our lives, especially in our youth. Some people are stans of Chelsea Football Club, others stan BTS. Should such fanatism disqualify them from becoming ministers in the future? No. So why should the fact that I stanned the Taliban or Al-Qaeda for a little while disqualify me from holding a high position in the Nigerian government? It’s hypocrisy!”
Word! We had to give it to the Minister of Communications for pointing out the hypocritic intolerance of people calling for his resignation simply because he expressed small support for Al-Qaeda and Taliban before.
The Minister speculated that the recent attacks on his person are part of a sinister coordinated effort to interfere with his work of keeping Nigerians safe by making sure everyone connects their SIM cards to their National Identification Number.
“Clearly, some wicked souls who carry out evil activities with their SIM cards are angry I’ve suspended the sale and registration of new SIM cards until all SIMs currently in use are connected to a specific NIN.”
His comment made us ask if he ever considered the downsides of suspending the sale and registration of new SIMs, such as hampering the growth of the telecommunications sector.
“Ehn, and how is that a bad thing exactly? The telecommunications sector in Nigeria has grown enough. MTN for example now have been raising their shoulders at the government and that’s because they’ve been allowed to make too much money. It’s time to teach these companies that they’re not the only ones that will make this money. Let other sectors have chance to grow too for once so they can catch up.”
We asked him to consider the plight of entrepreneurs who are seeking to expand their businesses but will now have to contend with not being able to purchase or register new SIM cards to conduct new business dealings online or over the phone.
“Were people not conducting business before the advent of mobile phones? Nigerians have been doing business long before SIM cards. The people hawking on the streets don’t have two heads. Whatever business you’re doing, whatever you’re selling, my candid advise for you is to carry it on your head and find your way to Lagos traffic.”
The Minister went ahead to explain that the policy is crucial to Nigeria’s safety and security. “We want everyone to link their SIM cards to their NIN so that we can’t easily trace and monitor people who pose a threat to Nigeria’s stability.”
At first, we assumed the Minister was referring to terrorists and kidnappers, who seem to have been emboldened in recent times, but he told us such individuals are not threats to Nigeria’s stability.
“Kidnappers are not a problem as far as I’m concerned. In fact, they provide an invaluable service to Nigerians by helping them brush up on their negotiation skills. Nigerians should not be scared when they get kidnapped but take it as a golden opportunity to practice their bargaining skills. This is why all over the world, Nigerians have a reputation for knowing how to bargain effectively. We have kidnappers to thank for that.”
“The real problem, let me tell you,” the Minister continued, “are those obnoxious journalists who go poking their noses into matters that don’t concern them. They’re always finding ways to paint us Nigerian politicians in bad light. Nigerian journalists need a lesson in patriotism from their Chinese counterparts who always use their freedom of speech to paint the Chinese government in positive light.”
We asked him whether, given the intense clamor for his resignation, he would consider stepping down from his position.
“God forbid bad thing. If the President that appointed me to this position doesn’t want me gone, who do ordinary Nigerians think themselves to be that they can remove me from this position? They should calm down and stop making a big deal out of this whole situation. Let them search in their hearts the real reason they don’t want someone who once supported Al-Qaeda to serve as their Minister, and maybe they’ll eventually arrive at the truthful conclusion that deep down, they’re being intolerant.”
We thanked the Minister for his time and wished him good luck in overcoming this controversy. He assured us that we need not worry. He will surely overcome his detractors.