Govt urges Nigerians to be vigilant at markets, churches, mosques, hotels
FROM the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, came yesterday a piece of advice that Nigerians should be vigilant at markets, hotels, churches, mosques and other crowded places which may be targets of terrorists that are now being ruthlessly dealt with by the military with a view to ending their menace by the end of the year.
He announced plan by the ministry to launch a national campaign against insurgency in the North-East regions.
Mohammed, who spoke on Saturday when he visited the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Bama, Borno State, stated that intelligence gathering and robust advocacy would be used to sensitise Nigerians on the need to wage war against the insurgents. He noted that no nation has ever succeeded in the fight against insurgency without support of the civilian component.
“We will let Nigerians know that the fight against insurgency is a national issue and not to see it as ethnic or religious issue,’’ he said.
The minister said that the ministry would roll out national jingles to educate Nigerians on the need to be vigilant and report any suspicious movements to the security agencies.
He commended the military for keeping Nigeria one, and taking back Bama town and other communities in the North-East from the insurgents. Mohammed said the Federal Government would ensure that no Nigerian territory remained in the hands of insurgents before the end of the year.
According to him, as the insurgents failed to make further attack on villages, they could go under to attack soft targets such as hotels, markets, mosques and churches. “I urge Nigerians to be vigilant in these public places and ensure that they know their neighbour’s means of livelihood with a view to complementing the military’s efforts against the insurgents.
“I also call for synergy between the military and the media to enhance mutual understanding in the war against insurgency because security is everybody’s business,” he said.
Responding, Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, commended the minister for the visit, noting that Mohammed was the first Minister of Information to visit the state to get firsthand information on the war against insurgency. He said the state had witnessed unimaginable destruction of 27 local government areas from 2009 to date caused by the insurgents.
The governor, who blamed the insurgency on poverty and unemployment, urged the Federal Government to address the problems of poverty, unemployment and lack of hope for youth.
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