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CNN Reignites the Great West African Jollof Rice War During Visit to Nigeria

Screen shot of Nigerian Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed and Richard Quest (carrying a plate of Nigerian Jollof Rice)

Nigerians are irked with their Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, for daring to attribute superiority to Senegal's jollof rice over Nigeria's own version of the widely consumed dish. Mr Mohammed triggered national outrage when responding to questions from CNN's Richard Quest, who is currently visiting Nigeria.

Jollof is a rice dish popular in West Africa – specifically in Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and the Gambia. World jollof rice day is commemorated on August 22. Recipes for Jollof rice differ. Here is how to make Nigeria's jollof rice.

There has been a running battle between Nigerians and their Ghanaian neighbours over who makes the best jollof.

Quest first tested the waters on the Jollof debate with a provocative tweet:

As though that were not enough, he then asked for the Nigerian Information and Culture minister's view:

Nigeria's ThisDay newspapers captured the shock of Nigerians over their minister's response:

Minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stunned CNN audience yesterday when he said the best Jollof rice is prepared in Senegal. A claim that seriously weakened the ‘Nigeria First’ mantra meant to encourage patronage Nigerian goods and drive the nation’s economic recovery on a special edition of Quest Means Business anchored in Lagos. Although Mr Richard Quest was later to clarify that the Minister misunderstood his question to mean which country jollof rice originated from. “That was why he answered Senegal.” However, the damage was already done, as social media would not let Lai Mohammed off the hook over his faux pas.

Quest clarified the response from the minister thus:

Despite the clarification, Nigerians were not willing to lose sight of what they considered a betrayal of their national pride.

Ola described the ministers response as ‘pure treason':

This netizen described Nigeria's jollof as ‘kabiyesi’ (king):

Some concluded that Mr Mohammad's comments amounted to conceding defeat in the jollof rice war:

And others went as far as saying that the minister should be sacked:

According to John, the presidency should debunk the ministers statement as “malicious and totally unpatriotic”

But at least one Twitter user claimed that Nigeria had already claimed victory in an earlier Jollof battle.

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