The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has attributed the current tomato scarcity in the country to the activities of the degraded insurgent group, Boko Haram.
In an interview with Channels Television on Wednesday, the Minister said farmers have been forced to quit the North East due to the level of insecurity in the region.
He said: “People talk about the price of tomato but they forget one thing; they forget that the price of tomato today is a direct result of the fact that we have lost two years harvest to Boko Haram insurgency.
“Most of the people you see riding Okada (motorcycles) in Lagos are people who would have been in the farm to produce consumable items.”
When asked if he was convinced that the tomato scarcity could be attributed to insurgency, he said: “Do you farm where there is war? We have lost two seasons of harvest in addition we have had very poor rainfall last year and this year.
These are the combined responsible for the scarcity of tomato. Go and ask economists and agriculturists, they will tell you.”
The staple has been very expensive in the last two months as a result of acute scarcity, which the federal government blamed on tuta absoluta, a pest also known as ‘tomato ebola’.
Meanwhile, several Nigerian netizens have taken to Twitter to weigh in on the statement made by the Minister.
See tweets below:
What did I miss?
Lai Mohammed and his list?
Or Boko Haram and our tomatoes..
There’s nothing I won’t hear from dis govt sha!
— AnthonyEhilebo (@AnthonyEhilebo) June 1, 2016
Thank you Lai Mogammed! The army must search Sambisa very well. That’s where Boko Haram must have hidden our tomatoes! #NamesAffectDestiny
— Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) June 2, 2016
But how can scarcity of tomato be due to boko haram insurgency,ehn?
— Marcella 엘라 (@Ellinadear) June 2, 2016
Now I get it , boko haram gave us the chibok girls in exchange for tomatoes, wow smooth real smooth
— Nathan Kembe (@NathanHaddy) June 2, 2016
Since boko haram dey use tomato for bomb!!!! Lying mohhamed sha.
— Oyedeleonibata (@GrandSoles) June 2, 2016
Boko Haram is responsible for tomato scarcity – Mr. Lai
In some ways, Lai Mohammed is right!https://t.co/2YLlfuApK6
— Kemi Ariyo (@d_problemsolver) June 2, 2016
When an information minister says tomato scarcity is caused by Boko Haram.. Makes me wonder where he gets his information from! Lai Mohammed
— @RadioThrill (@Thrillnonstop) June 2, 2016
Lai Mohammed “Boko Haram, responsible for Tomato scarcity”…when they named somebody Lai(lʌɪ)..Lie(lʌɪ)…Not a wailer but guy is a problem
— Adedolapo (@theboyfeso) June 2, 2016
How can this Lai Mohammed blame tomato scarcity on the same BH that has been supposedly defeated. He needs to be fired ASAP
— doc C (@tweetMOPOL) June 1, 2016
Lai Mohammed says tomato scarcity is caused by Boko Haram ! Never knew he had such a low IQ, pic.twitter.com/AeerDiHfWS
— Oche Otorkpa (@ochejoseph) June 1, 2016