The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has denied being infected with COVID-19.
Mohammed, who is a also member of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, said he attended the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, the extraordinary meeting of FEC on Thursday and the inauguration of the new Minister of State for Works and Housing, Muazu Sambo, on Friday which was covered by the media.
He, therefore, wondered how he could be said to be in isolation and still be allowed to attend such important events at the Presidential Villa.
Online medium, Premium Times, had reported that COVID-19 was ravaging the Presidential Villa. The newspaper said Mohammed as well as several other Villa officials including the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijani Umar; the President’s Aide-de-camp, Yusuf Dodo; his chief security officer, Aliyu Musa, and his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, had contracted the virus.
Responding, however, Mohammed said, “I read the story and we still have a great battle on our hands on fake news and mischievous reporting. I was in the public view on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I was at FEC on Wednesday. I coordinated press briefing on Thursday for the extraordinary EFC meeting. And the minister of power and I addressed media.
“On Friday, I witnessed the swearing-in for minister of state for power after which we had a security meeting. How can someone who has had such high level engagements for three days consecutively be ill?
“It is nothing but fake news. I am hale and hearty. Not only that, I have taken the two doses of the vaccine. I have also taken the Pfizer booster. I am a member of PSC and I am hale and hearty and I am performing at optimum level.”
However, Buhari’s media aide, Shehu, confirmed that indeed he had tested positive for COVID-19 and he was in self-isolation.
Shehu said he could not confirm if other Presidency officials had tested positive for the virus or not.
When contacted by our correspondent, he said, “What is true is that I know that I’m self-isolating and taking my medication, but I know of no other case.”