For the umpteenth time, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has told anyone who cares to listen that the country is safer today than it was prior to the coming of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government in 2015.
He also gave reason the Federal Government proscribed the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), saying that the group is not the same as bandits/ killer herdsmen hence the later cannot be called terrorists.
Speaking on ‘Government’s Efforts To Curb Insecurity’ on Wednesday on AIT breakfast programme ‘Kakaaki’, Mohammed said before 2015, the entire Northern Nigeria was no go area, adding that even the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was not safe for residents.
“Before APC government came on board in 2015, bombs were going off everywhere including in the heart of FCT. During that time as a minister, before you go to mosque in Abuja, we’re frisked before you enter for jumat. It was that serious then but our government has stopped all that now”, he argued.
Mohammed claimed the government has worked very hard to degrade and subdue the insurgents just as he said the neutralization of the bandits and insurgents by security agencies are underreported.
According to him; “the insurgents have been dealt a serious blow and when these bandits who are not settled at a place are neutralized nobody hears about it. Our security agencies have been dealing with the insecurity and they have been succeeding”.
On the State Governors granting amnesty to notorious armed gangs , he said: “When dealing with a situation like insurgency and banditry you do certain things in the interest of peace. If granting amnesty to a warlord will lead to the surrendering of many others I will take that decision”.
On Sheikh Abubakar Gumi’s amnesty proposal for bandits, he said anyone can go on that mission if it will bring peace but he made it clear that Federal Government did not authorize the meeting in the first place.
Asked why the Federal Government hurriedly proscribed the IPOB even when they are not as vicious as the bandits but have failed to also proscribe Bandits and killer Herdsmen who are carrying sophisticated weapons against innocent Nigerians, the Minister said the two groups are different.
“Don’t compare IPOB with bandits and herdsmen. IPOB doesn’t believe in Nigeria hence they were declared terrorist organization. Bandits and herdsmen are only criminals”, Mohammed submitted.