Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, has been criticized for saying Nigeria is winning the war against terrorism.
Mohammed is accused of being economical with the truth by stating that the current government is winning the war against terrorism.
The minister had said the issue of insecurity regarding insurgency under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is better if compared to President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
Speaking with BBC, the minister maintained that the situation was worst under the Jonathan-led government.
He pointed out that the “entire Northeast was a no go area” as schools, markets and hospitals were closed down due to insurgency activities.
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Fast forward to Buhari’s emergence; the minister stressed that the Buhari-led government was winning the war against insurgency, insisting that Nigeria is not a failed state.
He maintained that terrorists have decided to surrender to the Nigerian troops following the recent onslaught against them.
However, Mohammed’s stance has been countered by the National Youth Coordinator of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Usman Okai Austin, who insisted that the Buhari government was losing the fight against insecurity.
Okai described Mohammed as a lier despite his age, stressing that the insecurity situation in Nigeria is worse now compared to Jonathan’s era.
Speaking exclusively with DAILY POST, the activist pointed out that commuters are afraid to travel by road in some states in the North due to fear of bandits and kidnappers.
Okai insisted that insecurity during Jonathan’s government was politicized and used as a campaign tool against the former president.
He warned that some of Mohammed’s utterances were capable of inflaming the degenerated situation in Nigeria.
According to Okai: “Lai Mohammed is unaware that he is the government in power by even comparing this administration to that of Jonathan. You are aware that in some parts of the North, Nigerians can’t travel via roads anymore.
“Go to airports today and railway stations between Abuja and Kaduna; you will see the number of people trying to travel. People borrow money now to travel for burials, and this is not because they can’t afford to but fuel for their vehicles; but for fear of being kidnapped by bandits, they must borrow money for a flight to any part of the North.
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“What is he talking about? There was little insecurity, which was overhyped by the machinery used to bring down Jonathan at all cost as part of their campaign instrument. The former APC leader, Baraje, attested that the boys terrorizing the nation were brought in to help them rig the election. Mohammed should wake up, and that is why we are still in the battle with insurgency confronting the nation; this is not about PDP or APC. These bandits don’t know who is PDP or APC member.
“They are kidnapping from Islamic, Christian schools, and now the Commissioner in Niger State that was kidnapped; is he not an APC member? It’s unfortunate that Lai Mohammed, who is the Minister of Information, is still lying at his age. His utterances are part of our problems; I don’t know why President Buhari is still keeping him there.
“He is still blaming Jonathan while his party is begging the same Jonathan to join them so they would give him the presidential ticket. Are you not aware that they are lobbying Jonathan? APC governors and Mai Mala Buni, are romancing Jonathan and begging him to join APC to give him an automatic ticket? Now they are begging him and claiming that they are doing better, so why are you lobbying him?
“The insecurity situation in the country is getting out of hands. The earlier the Minister of Information wakes up to reality, the better for him. This is why they are suppressing the media at all costs; today, there is no Twitter, and the next will be Facebook, and once they do that, they have caged the press using the MBC code, which is in the National Assembly for amendment. By the time Lai Mohammed succeeds in doing that, he would be lying to Nigerians and the whole world; he should wake up to the eality because Nigerians can no longer sleep.
“These kidnappers are in Abuja, and between Lokoja and Abuja, they are kidnapping; between Abuja and Kaduna, they are kidnapping. Some people were murdered between Bauchi and Jos just last week, yet we have a minister telling us that Nigeria is safer now; please, what is he talking about? ESN is killing people massively in the Southeast, so it’s unfortunate that the Minister of Information is still living in illusion and thinking that he is in a campaign mood.
“We are appealing to him to stop playing to the gallery by misleading Nigerians. Just last week, we contributed N5 000 000 for one of our friends kidnapped between Kaduna and Abuja, and these victims are being left alone at the mercies of whatever they have to pay as ransom.
“In Niger State, a school is being sold to raise money to pay bandits’ ransom; is it the government that is paying that money? So, Lai Mohammed should stop insulting Nigerians’ sensibility; his utterances are becoming troubling and disturbing. It’s capable of raising the tension on the ground. From day one, Lai Mohammed has not been sincere, and till now, he is not.”