Abiodun OBA

The string of successes of the military in fighting the terrorists and the bandits that have been attacking soft targets was a pointer that government was not in any way overwhelmed by the prevailing challenges.

This was the submission of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to the comments by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that President Muhammdu Buhari is overwhelmed by the gale of insecurity across the country.

Mohammed, stated this recently on the TVC breakfast programme, “This Morning”

He said that Obasanjo, who governed the country as an elected president from 1999-2003 had on Sunday in Abeokuta, lamented the insecurity in the country, following the bombing of an Abuja-Kaduna train that left eight persons dead and scores of passengers yet to be accounted for.

“So, if anybody comes to say I want to see you, I want to talk to you, I will say ‘you’re welcome’. This is because I believe very strongly, and I have said it publicly and I will say it again that the situation we are in this country is not a situation, where one man will say, yes, he has a solution, unless we are deceiving ourselves. I believe we need to sit down collectively and look at the situation.

“A situation where you are not safe on the road, you are not safe on the train, you are not safe at the airport, shows a very serious situation. I believe that all right-thinking Nigerians must know that we have a situation that has overwhelmed the present administration, but we should not allow that situation to overwhelm Nigeria.”

Obasanjo wished Williams well in the pursuit of his presidential ambition,” the former president said.

But without directly attacking Obasanjo on his criticism, Mohammed said that the fact that hundreds of terrorists and bandits military recently surrendered to the military was an indication that the Armed Forces were doing their best in tackling the security challenges rocking the country.

He said the president had also moved to secure all rail tracks across the country by fast-tracking the installation of 24-hour surveillance system on the Abuja-Kaduna, Abuja Metro as well as the Lagos-Ibadan and Warri-Itakpe-Ajaokuta railway network.

The minister said that even though the military had been working hard and had in fact made gains in their fight against terrorism, the terrorists were looking for front page headlines by attacking innocent passengers on the Abuja- Kaduna railway.

Mohammed urged Nigerians not to give to terrorists and bandits, describing them as not the enemies of Buhari but the entire country.

“We must also understand that is the way terrorists behave. They will be quiet for some time. And like all terrorists, they will seek for one dramatic attack that will seem to wipe out whatever successes the military has achieved over the years.

“But we must realise that despite this sad incident, the military has been working very hard and has recorded successes in their fight against terrorism,” Mohammed said.

He said the opposition is finding it convenient to blame the government for the handling of the security issues in the country without realising that the military is fighting terror but not a conventional war.

“Terrorists seek for your soft under belly and are after a spectacular attack that will make you look incompetent. Don’t forget we inherited this terrorism in 2015. But that is not the issue; the issue is we must give credence to our military and appreciate what the federal government has done in terms of providing the enabling environment for the military to be able to win this war,” Mohammed said.

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