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Nigerian govt denies handling bandits, secessionists differently



My ministry will create over two million jobs in three years —Minister Lai

The Federal Government has debunked reports about granting preference to bandits while prosecuting secessionists.

This was clarified by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.

According to the Minister, such reports are misleading considering the violence caused by both groups which have led to an atmosphere of fear among Nigerians.

Lai explained that the FG will ensure all measures towards quelling any groups undermining the territorial integrity and peace of the country.

“We noticed that of recent, there is this misinformation as regards the way the Federal Government, especially the military, is handling the issue of banditry and terrorism.

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“There is this misconception that the Federal Government is softer on the terrorists in the North East and the bandits from the North West and the way they handle separatists and other criminals from the South East and South West.

“I want to say without any hesitation that this is a fallacy. It is a misrepresentation, misinformation and fake news all rolled into one.

“The truth of the matter is that the Federal Government does not make a distinction between terrorists and bandits.

” As far as the Federal Government is concerned they are all criminals and they are treated the same way.

“It is very important to set the record straight. Why do I say this? Because, it is a continuation of the destructive rhetoric of some commentators,’’ he said.

The minister further said that the issue of security of the country should not be politicised because of its sensitive nature.

He said: “The issue of security must not be politicised. Security is security. Bandits kill soldiers; they kill policemen and innocent people.”

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