The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has argued that the fact that bandits are imposing levies on communities does not mean they have taken control.
He stated this during a press conference in Abuja on Thursday while reacting to an article by The Economist magazine titled, ‘Insurgency, secessionism and banditry threaten Nigeria’.
The Minister as saying the London-based magazine was wrong to claim that terrorists had carved caliphates for themselves in Nigeria’s North-east. This was as he chided the Nigerian media for regurgitating the report.
When pressed about the situation in the North-west where bandits impose levies on communities, he that imposing levies does not mean criminals are in charge.
Mohammed said that it takes place in many parts of the country, including in the South where touts commonly referred to as ‘area boys arbitrarily impose levies.
His words, “Do you know how many places in this country where area boys collect taxes? And there is no terrorism or banditry there. I don’t want to mention names.
“In many of our cities, they carve out their own territory. So, it is not indicative of the bandits have taken over.
“No. I know many areas in Nigeria both in the South and the North where these kinds of things happen. So, it is not the same thing.”