Information Minister cautions Zamfara govt against politicizing insecurity
The Federal Government has cautioned the Zamfara State government not to politicize or trivialize security issues.
It could be recalled that Zamfara State Governor Dauda Lawal had accused the Federal Government of undertaking negotiations with terrorist groups in the area.
“The Zamfara State government has received reports of how some Federal Government delegations met with different bandits’ groups in Birnin Magaji, Maradun, Mun Haye, Ajah, Bawo, and Bagege,” Lawal said in a statement on Monday by his Chief Press Secretary, Sulaiman Bala Idris.
A statement issued by Suleiman Haruna, Deputy Director, Press, Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation, said the minister, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, was reacting to a statement credited to the Zamfara State Governor, Dauda Lawal, on Monday.
Idris said rather than appreciate security agents and Federal Government institutions for the prompt effort to rescue the abducted students of the Federal University Gusau, the governor chose to play politics with the sensitive matter for cheap political goals.
‘’The Minister observes that Federal Government institutions are empowered by law to spring to action, with or without prompting, to ensure the safe return of citizens illegally taken hostage, like in the case of these hapless students. The fact that details of such delicate operations are not revealed by the institutions responsible does not make it in any way surreptitious, as the Zamfara State Government atrociously described this effort, ‘’the statement said.
‘’The Minister states, for the avoidance of doubt, that no official of the Federal Government is engaged in negotiation with any bandit or group of bandits. The government, however, maintains its resolve to explore every available avenue that can lead to de-escalation of tension and bring back peace to communities ravaged by banditry.’’
‘’However, if communities decide to borrow a leaf from what has helped quench unrest in other parts of the country to engage themselves in dialogue, the Federal Government would not be in a haste to condemn such people-driven initiative.‘’
‘’The Minister assures Nigerians that the Federal Government and its institutions are working assiduously to turn around the current situation and bring an end to the ebbing cases of banditry, kidnapping, and all forms of criminality. Political differences or personal fights with anybody should not be brought into the serious matter of national security to avoid demoralizing our troops or derailing the government’s efforts.‘’
‘’Finally, the Minister maintains that the Federal Government is willing to listen and continue its ongoing engagement with all stakeholders across the country in working out a lasting solution to our security problems. We urge all to put hands on deck with us.’’