Quite recently, a viral video revealed some captivating exchanges between British-accented journalist Laila Johnson-Salami and Senator David Umahi, the Minister of Works.

As reported, social media is abuzz with reactions to their interaction during an interview addressing the environmental concerns of the Lagos-Calabar Highway project.

As Laila Johnson-Salami began questioning Senator Umahi in her distinct accent, his response was;

“My sister, I was raised in the village, I no dey hear phonetics….”

Responding, the Journalist said; “Sorry I can’t help the way I speak…”

The minister responded; “I need an interpreter.”

Clearly aware that the minister is trying to shut her down, the journalist shows that she is truly there to do her work and she swiftly responds; “Well you have people next to you.”

She proceeded by asking the saying; “You mentioned the ESIA is currently being carried out at the moment and EIA act of 1992 states an EIA must be approved by the federal ministry of environment before the commencement of any project unless an exemption is given.”

The minister responded; “There is preliminary approval and final approval.”

Showing that she is there for the business, the journalist asks if the preliminary approval has been given.

And the minister was left with no choice but to give an answer and he responded that it had been given.

She further asked if the approval could be shared to the media and the minister accepted her request.

Laila Johnson-Salami was born in  Ibadan, Nigeria, to Abayomi Salami (father) and Diana Yeside Johnson (mother). Her grandfather, Lekan Salami, was a chief, businessman, sports administrator, and politician, while her aunt, Caroline Lee Johnson, is a British actress.

Laila spent her formative years in both Nigeria and the UK, where she received her education. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of Westminster.

In 2016, she co-founded We Rise Initiative, an NGO focused on empowering women. After returning to Nigeria from the UK in 2017, she embarked on various endeavors. In 2018, Laila co-hosted a groundbreaking show titled “On the Couch with Falz and Laila,” where they interviewed presidential aspirants for the 2019 elections.

Subsequently, in May 2019, she joined Arise News as a co-host of the channel’s prime-time program, “The Morning Show,” later co-hosting the afternoon program, “News Day.” Since 2021, Laila has served as a field correspondent at Arise News, covering topics ranging from the environment to healthcare and international affairs.

In 2021, Laila produced and presented a wildlife conservation series on Arise News in partnership with the international NGO WildAid, titled “Go Wild” – a pioneering wildlife series in Nigerian media.

Her efforts garnered recognition, as in 2022, the UNDP/UN Women International Women’s Day Award committee described her as “A rising star in media and journalism who is changing the narrative around gender equality, youth empowerment, climate action, and social inclusion, one conversation at a time.”