Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed says insurgents would have declared an Islamic State in Nigeria if President Buhari didn’t take decisive actions.
The minister said this while addressing a press conference today December 15, but admitted that the current security situation poses a great challenge.
“The polity has recently been awash with heightened commentary on the security situation in the country. The commentary has been triggered by genuine concerns in some circles, and crass politicking or sheer absurdity in others.
“Since assuming office in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to make the issue of security a major plank of his Administration’s policy. This is not a surprise, considering the fact that the fight against insecurity is one of the three priority areas of the APC-led Federal Government.
“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.
“With 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 they could have achieved their aim of declaring an Islamic State in Nigeria if President Buhari had not acted decisively. After all, in 2014, Boko Haram declared a Caliphate in Gwoza after capturing Bama and Gamboru as well as 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.
“Yes, banditry and kidnapping have added to the state of insecurity, President Buhari has also continued to provide quality leadership in order to ensure that our security agencies decisively tackle the cankerworm of insecurity of any hue. No Administration in Nigeria’s recent history has provided the security agencies with the hardware neededto tackle insecurity as that of President Buhari, in addition to raising the morale of our security men and women. Only last week, Mr President commissioned an armada of naval boats and ships in the latest effort to enhance our nation’s maritime security. The army, the air force and the police, among others, have also been receiving modern hardware to strengthen their arsenal.
“The Administration has not concentrated on the kinetic measures alone. Non-kinetic measures have also been strengthened. 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. Of course, the Federal Government’s unprecedented and massive investment in infrastructure is also aimed at boosting socio-economic well-being of the nation and further reducing poverty, which is a major cause of insecurity.”