The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the Federal Government does not play politics with the security and welfare of the citizens.
The Minister made the remarks in Katsina on Tuesday at a Special Town Hall Meeting on Security with focus on fight against Banditry, Cattle Rustling and Kidnapping .
“Today’s Town Hall Meeting is very unique. Since we started in 2016, this is the first time that we are having Governors from the APC and the PDP as panelists.
”This is first a testimony to the fact that this Federal Government does not play politics with the security and welfare of citizens and, secondly, a reflection of the patriotism, commitment and nationalism of the Governors, irrespective of their party affiliations,” he said.
The event had in attendance the PDP Governors of Sokoto and Zamfara, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and Alhaji Bello Matawalle respectively, as well as the host Governor Aminu Bello Masari of the APC.
The three Governors joined the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohamed; Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd) and the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, as panellists.
Alhaji Mohammed said even though a lot of successes had been recorded in tackling the unique security challenges in the North West, such efforts had not been receiving much publicity in the media.
“Unfortunately, the progress that has been made in combating banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping has not made the kind of headlines that the security challenges were making at their peak. It has therefore become imperative for the Federal Government, working with the affected states, 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 these cases of insecurity, as well as for relevant Federal Government Ministers to highlight the efforts
that have helped to drastically reduce the level of insecurity in the North West,” he said.
The Minister expressed delight that the unrelenting efforts of the Federal Government as well as the determination and innovative efforts of the governments of the affected states have yielded positive results.
He said the Federal Government will continue to use the Town Hall Meetings to regularly give account of its stewardship to the people, in addition to getting a feedback as well as input from them, thus enhancing citizens’ participation in governance.
In his remarks, Maj.-Gen. Magashi (Rtd) said three of the nine special military operations in the country are concentrated in the North West, in order to most effectively tackle the security challenges in the region.
For his part, the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Aregbesola, said 6,000 personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps are currently operating in the North West, with six hundred of them deployed as Agro Rangers to tackle farmers-herders clashes.
There was consensus among the participants at the event that there has been a tremendous improvement in the security situation in the North West.
They however made a number of suggestions that could further enhance security in the region.