The Federal Government affirmed the commitment of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to tackling security challenges in the country without bias.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, stated this on Tuesday at a special town hall meeting on security in Katsina State.
According to him, the event is unique because it is the first time governors from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will be panellists at such meeting since its commencement in 2016.
“This is first, a testimony to the fact that this Federal Government does not play politics with the security and welfare of citizens,” the minister said.
He added, “Secondly, (it is) a reflection of the patriotism, commitment, and nationalism of the governors, irrespective of their party affiliations. I congratulate all of us for being part of this historic outing.”
No Peace, No Development
Mr Mohammed noted that the government was not unaware of the recent criminal attacks on communities in the North-West.
According to him, cases of banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling seem to have worsened in the region until recently.
He reminded the meeting that one of the cardinal programmes of the present administration was to tackle insecurity across the country.
The minister said, “Whether it is Boko Haram, banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling or armed robbery, the administration has faced the challenges posed by insecurity with grit and determination.
“The Federal Government is unrelenting in tackling these challenges because without peace and security, there can be no development.”
“Here in the North-West, the security challenges – banditry, cattle rustling, and kidnapping – have been unique and daunting.
“The deadly attacks that claimed lives and destroyed property were daily making headline news all over the country,” he lamented.
Mr Mohammed decried that the situation became so bad in some of the states in the region that many felt they were intractable.
He was, however, thankful that the efforts of the Federal Government, as well as the determination and innovative efforts of the governments of the affected states, have been a remarkable improvement.
The minister said peace and security were gradually returning to the worst-hit states while progress that has been made in combating banditry, cattle rustling, and kidnapping.
He explained that it has become imperative for the government at the federal and state levels to provide a platform for the governors of the front-line states to highlight the successes they have achieved in their various states in tackling cases of insecurity.
Mr Mohammed was hopeful that at the end of the meeting, the efforts of the governors of the affected states of Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara, as well as the contributions of the Federal Government would be well-documented.
Those present included Governors Aminu Masari (Katsina), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), and Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), as well as the Ministers of Defence and Interior, Major General Bashir Magashi and Mr Rauf Aregbesola, respectively.