By Farooq Kperogi
Lai Mohammed is being intentionally dishonest, as he always is, when he said the brazen lie he shared with journalists about the N3.5 million the Nigerian government putatively spends on incarcerated Shiite leader Zakzaky’s feeding every month was “off [the] record.” The only information he said was off the record was El-Zakzaky’s whereabouts.
Here is a quote from the video: “The issue of whether, where he is, let’s keep it off record. He is in a residence and eating; I mean, it costs the government N3.5 million naira every month to feed him.” Either Lai Mohammed has no clue know what “off the record” means (which isn’t a good reflection of his state of knowledge of media practice) or he is telling more lies to cover up his earlier lie.
In any case, you can’t be off the record in a public space—and in the full glare of cameras. You go off the record ONLY in private conversations. In a news conference, you’re always already on the record. What if the news conference were broadcast live, as most news conferences are these days?
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