Insecurity: FG is winning war on terror, says Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has maintained that President Muhammadu Buhari is winning the war against terrorism and has procured more military equipment for the armed forces of Nigeria compared to any leader before him.

Since assuming office in 2015, the Minister said the President has continued to make the issue of security a major plank of his administration’s policy as insecurity is one of the three priority areas of the APC-led Federal Government.

Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, Mohammed noted that it is not in dispute that banditry and kidnapping have added to the state of insecurity, but President Buhari has not relented as he has also provided quality leadership in order to ensure that the security agencies decisively tackle the cankerworm of insecurity of any hue.

According to him, no administration in Nigeria’s recent history has provided the security agencies with the hardware needed to tackle insecurity as that of President Buhari adding, the President has also been committed to raising the morale of security men and women in the country.

Last week, the Minister said Buhari commissioned an armada of naval boats and ships in the latest effort to enhance the nation’s maritime security while the army, the air force and the police, among others, have also been receiving modern hardware to strengthen their arsenal.

He regretted that the polity has recently been awash with heightened commentary on the security situation in the country saying some of the commentaries were triggered by genuine concerns in some circles, and crass politicking or sheer absurdity in others.

Yes, the security situation has continued to pose a great challenge, but amidst the cacophony of voices – some genuinely concerned about the situation and others ready to exploit it for selfish ends – it is easy to forget where we are coming from.

Today, we only look at the current situation, without wondering what would have been had this President not taken the bull by the horns, as far as security is concerned, he said.

Mohammed claimed that the way the insurgents were going before this administration came into office, with their control of a vast swath of land the size of Belgium, with their freewheeling attacks in almost a dozen states, including the Federal Capital Territory which was hit at least five times, perhaps, he noted, they could have achieved their aim of declaring an Islamic State in Nigeria, if President Buhari had not acted decisively.

He recalled that in 2014, Boko Haram had declared a Caliphate in Gwoza after capturing Bama and Gamboru including other towns and villages in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. “They installed their own Emirs, collected taxes and flew their flag before the military dislodged them”.

He disclosed that the administration has not concentrated on kinetic measures alone as non-kinetic measures have also been strengthened. Mohammed said the establishment of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to coordinate all humanitarian affairs in Nigeria is a major effort at tackling poverty and shrinking the pool of those being targeted for recruitment by
insurgents and bandits.

The Federal Government’s unprecedented and massive investment in infrastructure is also aimed at boosting the socio-economic well-being of the nation and further reducing poverty, which is a major cause of insecurity.

In evaluating the performance of President Buhari, the Minister affirmed that he has done well and subduing terrorists and criminals to bring leave to the country.

“Gentlemen, President Buhari has done so much, under very difficult economic and social conditions, to tackle insecurity in our country. Not only has he done so much, but President Buhari also continues to do much more to keep Nigerians safe. To say he has nothing more to offer is untrue, fallacious, and smacks of dirty politicking”.

He commended the military, police, civil defence and other security, intelligence, and para-military agencies for their continued service to the nation and called for national solidarity to remember that “our men and women in uniform sacrifice their sleep and comfort so we can in turn sleep well. Even as we continue to battle insecurity, it will be uncharitable on our part to suggest they are not doing enough, or not to appreciate their sacrifices”.