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No preferential treatment between separatists and bandits – FG



No preferential treatment between separatists and bandits – FG

By Julius Toba-Jegede

The federal government says there is no preferential treatment between groups advocating the country’s separation and bandits, especially in the North West area.

This clarification was made by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja.

The minister described as misleading and mistaken the idea that members of the proscribed indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) were increasingly repressed by the security forces.

He said the federal government would continue to apply all necessary measures, including the use of the military, to prevent criminal groups from undermining the territorial integrity and the peace of the country.

“We have noticed that recently there is this misinformation about how the federal government, especially the military, is handling the issue of banditry and terrorism.

“There is this misconception that the federal government is kinder to the terrorists of the Northeast and the bandits of the Northwest and the way they treat the separatists and other criminals of the Southeast and the Southwest.

“I mean without any hesitation that this is a mistake. It is misrepresentation, misinformation and fake news all in one.

“The truth is, the federal government does not distinguish between terrorists and bandits.

“As far as the federal government is concerned, they are all criminals and they are treated the same.

“It is very important to set the record straight. Why am I saying that ? Because it’s a continuation of the destructive rhetoric of some commentators, ”he said.

The minister added that the issue of the country’s security should not be politicized due to its sensitive nature.

He said: “The issue of security should not be politicized. Security is security. Bandits kill soldiers; they kill the police and the innocent.

“So why will the military be gentler on one group of criminals than another?”

The minister reiterated the federal government’s position to rely more on the ongoing peace process across the country as well as to tackle bandits, kidnappers and other criminal groups.

Source: NAN

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