The Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has appealed to leaders, especially religious leaders, not to fall for the antics of Boko Haram and ISWAP, who are trying to divide Nigerians along religious lines by targeting Christians for attacks.
Speaking at the press conference solely to address the issue of insecurity in Abuja on Thursday, with particular reference to the role of Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP), highlighted what the military is doing in this regard and also rally support for the gallant men and women who are making all the necessary sacrifices to keep Nigerians safe.
He said Boko Haram and the ISWAP have recently changed their strategy, in the wake of their ceaseless pounding by the military. “At its peak, Boko Haram in particular was a fighting force, conquering and keeping territory, installing and deposing Emirs and also collecting taxes. It had the capability to take the battle to many states, mostly in the north, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, where it bombed the police headquarters, the UN Complex, shopping complex and motor parks.
“Upon assumption of office on May 29, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Command and Control centre to relocate from Abuja to Maiduguri and rallied the support of our neighours as well as the international community. This yielded immediate results as Boko Haram was not only decimated, but all the territory under its control was recovered.
The insurgents also lost the capability to carry out the kind of spectacular attacks they were used to, and then resorted to attacking soft targets, including churches and mosques as well as schools”, he said. He noted that apart from fighting insurgents, the military has continued to carry out development programmes in the North-east, as part of efforts to win the hearts and minds of the populace.
“The military is engaged in Road and bridge construction and repair, Provision of potable water. “Scanning of roads and highways to detect planted IEDs and keep the roads safe, Teaching in schools where there is shortage of teachers, Provision of educational materials, including books, Working with civilians to ensure that things are in order in many towns and villages”, he added.
He stated that this is the last desperate move by a decimated and disillusioned band of killers and psycopaths to stay relevant amid constant decimation by our gallant troops. “We have what it takes to come together and foil this divisive and satanic strategy”, while appealed to Nigerians to support the military as it moves to decapitate the insurgents.