Terrorists and Bandits did not Establish a Caliphate in Nigeria, says Lai Mohammed.
On Thursday, NewsReport gathered that the Information Minister Lai Mohammed stated that violent extremists collecting taxes from citizens in the country’s northern regions pose the same security threat as street thugs extorting cash from citizens in the country’s southern regions.
The minister stated that bandits and terrorists operating in the northern region should not be considered as running their own enclaves outside of federal jurisdictions simply because they can amass financial advantages through violence and intimidation.
According to Mr. Mohammed, there are various communities spread over the country.
“Do you know how many localities in our country where neighborhood youngsters collect taxes and there is no banditry?”
“I’m not going to name names. They carve up their own territories in many of our cities. So what they’re writing is meaningless. “It does not imply that bandits have taken control,” the minister stated at a press conference in his office on Thursday.
While there are street thugs in Lagos and other southern towns, they mostly operate in the shadows. However, militants and bandit bands frequently sack security forces and assign quasi-administrative posts to government-trapped people in northern communities.
Mr. Mohammed’s comments come as the regime ramps up its pushback against The Economist’s latest issue that criticized President Muhammadu Buhari. The publication noted that under Mr. Buhari, Nigeria had become a crime scene of destructive magnitude on the African continent, pointing out that terrorists and armed bandits are running wild because the president is corrupt and lazy, failing to do anything but render lip service following every deadly attack.
The minister also criticized the Nigerian media for publishing Western outlets. Peoples Gazette was the first Nigerian outlet to publish a follow-on story based on The Economist’s report, which was soon followed with two additional stories, including the military’s rebuttal.
“The point is about you (Nigeria media) swallowing hook, line, and sinker, a report by a foreign organization, which you have not even interrogated yourself, that’s my problem,” the minister said.
Mr. Mohammed’s new position on the credibility of Western media marked a stark breakaway from his days as opposition spokesman, especially between 2013 and 2015 when he was in charge of talking points for the then-opposition APC. Many party members repeated Western media claims that Boko Haram was controlling large swathes of the country’s territory the size of Belgium.
The minister also used several Western media reports to knock President Goodluck Jonathan. And when The Economist endorsed Mr. Buhari ahead of the 2015 presidential election, Mr. Mohammed held media tours on the back of the report to mock the then-ruling PDP as a failure