Sunday, October 17, 2021

Nigerian govt not treating bandits with kid-gloves – Lai Mohammed

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The Federal Government says it is erroneous and misleading the accusation in certain quarters that it is treating bandits with kid-gloves.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed stated this on Tuesday when he featured on Nigeria Television Authority programme, “Good Morning Nigeria’’.

Speaking on renewed onslaught against bandit on the programme monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, the minister said banditry is criminality with no basis on religion or ideology.

He said the approach of the federal government through the military in treating criminals is not to make a distinction between bandits and terrorists.

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“I think we have been dancing around nomenclature, a criminal is a criminal whether it is a bandit or terrorist and the same measure is being meted out to them.

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“That is why we find it ridiculous, the accusation that the federal government is softer on bandits than the separatists and other criminals.

“This is a fallacy, a fake news and misinformation all into one, and this is the kind of divisive rhetoric being promoted by some naysayers,’’ he said.

Mohammed said it is senseless for the military to treat bandits, who are killing soldiers and policemen, with kid-gloves.

He added that the method of the military in fighting criminality through the land and air would not allow for any distinction between bandits and other criminals.

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Mohammed said with the renewed onslaught against bandits and certain measures taken by the governors of the states where bandits are operating, they are winning the war.

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He said the governors had learnt from the mistakes of the past and had resolved that they would not negotiate with bandits but to go after them and not spare them.

Mohammed said measures, such as suspension of mobile telecommunication networks in certain areas and the ban on sale of petroleum products in jerry cans and at filling stations around the land borders are yielding fruits.

He added that the ban on sale of fairly used motorcycles in some markets and restriction on the use of “junction motor parks’’ in the states are also yielding results.

NAN

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