The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Saturday, explained why the military cannot bomb the bandits’ hideouts in the North-West.
Mohammed, who featured in a radio programme on Bond FM, admitted that the fight against the bandits pillaging communities in states in the North-West was very difficult.
He stressed that military bombing of the criminals’ hideouts would cause the death of innocent people living in the vicinities.
He urged Nigerians to join hands in the fight against the terrorists.
The minister also kicked against the use of mercenaries to fight the criminals.
Mohammed said: “We cannot just go with full force to bomb them or else the innocents living around them will be killed and we don’t want that to happen. The fight against the bandits is a difficult one because of the terrain.
”We are also pleading with Nigerians to join in this fight because they have a lot of roles to play in tackling this insecurity. This is because these criminals called bandits are living among us; they interact with the people as well.
“Who are the ones supplying them with food? More so, they also have landlords. People should expose these criminals and then, the various efforts of the government will be effectively complemented and we will see the results.
“We have been trying our best in the fight against the bandits by equipping our security apparatus. The government has purchased aircraft so that they can fight alongside the soldiers. We have not rested on our oars.
“The welfare of the police is also given adequate attention and very recently, this administration recruited 25,000 constables and deployed them to their home states. This will go a long way in community policing.
“It will be easier for the newly-recruited constables to work effectively. There are lots of work in progress in the security infrastructure and personnel.
“Governor El-Rufai spoke out of deep concern about the situation. He might have spoken out because of the circumstances at which the bandits are emboldened to operate.
“If we employ mercenaries to fight the bandits, we should have it at the back of our minds that they are only mercenaries and not our security personnel who will return to wherever after their task is done.”
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