Lai under fire for saying Buhari’s govt spends N3.5m feeding El-zakzaky every month.
In a video published by OakTv, the Minister said the Muhammadu Buhari-led government spends about N3.5 million Naira on El-zakzaky’s feeding on a monthly basis.
"The issue of whether, where he (Mr El-Zakzaky) is, at least let's keep it off record, that he is in a residence and you know eating at the… It costs the government about N3.5 million every month to feed him.
"We don't want to inflame passion. The issue is a very sensitive matter. But that is the situation. The Islamic Movement of Nigeria are a different kettle of fish," he said.
Lai’s comments soon sparked outrage on Twitter as most Nigerians wondered why the federal government was spending tax payers’ money on El-Zakzaky despite Court order for his release.
Others who commented on the matter were not particularly sure what the government was feeding El-Zakzaky with that would cost Nigeria so much.
Here are some Twitter reactions on Lai's N3.5 million monthly for El-Zakzaky’s food.
Meanwhile, the management of OakTV, from whom the video of Mohammed making the N3.5 million claim originated, has sanctioned its staff over the leaking of the video. This was because the minister had believed he was making the claim off the record.
"On Wednesday, November 7, 2018, Oak TV made some error in its reporting regarding a conversation with the Minister of Information.
"This is an error which we regret. All team members involved have been sanctioned, and we would do more to tighten our gatekeeping responsibilities," an official statement read.
The organisation further apologised to the minister for any embarrassment the release of the video may have caused him.
Recall that El-Zakzaky's supporters were recently killed by a combined team of the military and mobile policemen for demanding the release of their leader.
This is even as a Kaduna State High Court on Wednesday, November 7, 2018, denied El-Zakzaky bail.
El-zakzaky is on trial for unlawful gathering, criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide.