The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has “drastically” reduced killings resulting from farmers and herdsmen crisis, across the country.
Mohammed made the assertion during a Special Town Hall meeting on security in Gusau, Zamfara State, on Monday.
In a statement sent to DAILY POST, Mohammed said the, “drastic fall in the killings resulted from concerted and committed actions by the Federal Government to curtail the farmers-herders clashes, cattle rustling and other acts of banditry.
”Let me say straight away that the killings, resulting from farmers-herders clashes, cattle rustling, trans-border crimes and banditry, among others, have fallen drastically. Unfortunately, this has not received the kind of media coverage that was given to the killings. I appeal to the media to correct this.”
The Minister listed such actions as including the, “deployment of a Joint Military Intervention Force (JMIF), comprising Regular and Special Forces personnel from the Army, Air Force and Navy, and working in collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Security (DSS), and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC).”
He said the measures also include the establishment of the Army’s 2 Battalion Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Kanfanin Doka Village, Birnin-Gwari, Kaduna State; the establishment of a new Area Command and two additional Divisional Police Headquarters in the Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State; and the establishment by Nigerian Air Force of Quick Response Wings (QRW) in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States.
Others are the deployment of Special Forces to these Quick Response Wings; the inauguration, by the Nigeria Police Force, of a new Mobile Squadron in Takum, Taraba State and Operation, ‘Whirl Stroke’, operating in Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara states, to tackle the menace of armed herdsmen, cattle rustlers, communal militias,
kidnappers and other bandits.
Mohammed assured Nigerians that the situation will continue to improve until violence was completely eradicated in the country.
”I have no doubt that the good people of Zamfara can testify to the drastic reduction in the activities of cattle rustlers and other bandits in the state since the Federal Government deployed a 1000-strong military force, comprising the army, air force, police and the civil defence, to launch fierce attacks on the bandits terrorising the villages and towns of Zamfara State,” he said.
The Minister also insisted that the killings have nothing to do with ethnicity or religion.
”Those who are bent on exploiting our national fault lines have distorted the narrative to give the killings ethnic and religious colouration, and this has aggravated the killings. We must repudiate them, even as the Federal Government continues to consolidate on the successful efforts to end the killings.”