The federal government has taken a swipe at the Zamfara State government for allegedly politicising the abduction of students of the Federal University Gusau (FUGUS) in the State.
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, who stated this in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Monday, noted with disappointment a statement credited to the Zamfara State governor, Dr. Dauda Lawal, which rather than appreciate security agents and federal government institutions for the prompt effort to rescue the abducted students, chose to play politics with the sensitive matter for cheap political goals.
The minister said that federal government institutions are empowered by law to spring to action, with or without prompting, to ensure the safe return of citizens illegally taken hostage, like in the case of the students. He said the fact that details of such delicate operations were not revealed by the institutions responsible does not make it in any way surreptitious, as the Zamfara State government atrociously described the effort.
The minister stated that for the avoidance of doubt, no official of the federal government was engaged in negotiation with any bandit or group of bandits. He said the government, however, maintained its resolve to explore every available avenue that can lead to de-escalation of tension and bring back peace to communities ravaged by banditry.
He said if communities decide to borrow a leaf from what has helped quench unrest in other parts of the country to engage themselves in dialogue, the federal government would not be in a haste to condemn such people-driven initiative.
The minister assured Nigerians that the federal government and its institutions were working assiduously to turn around the current situation and bring an end to the ebbing cases of banditry, kidnapping, and all forms of criminality. He said political differences or personal fights with anybody should not be brought into the serious matter of national security to avoid demoralising the nayion’s troops or derailing the government’s efforts.
The minister stated that the federal government was willing to listen and continue its ongoing engagement with all stakeholders across the country in working out a lasting solution to the security problems. “We urge all to put hands on deck with us,” the Minister added.