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FG taking fight to criminals’ dens -Minister

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The Federal Government has declared its commitment to combat kidnapping, banditry, and other criminal activities by targeting the criminals’ hideouts.

This is contained in a statement signed by the Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, on Sunday.

Many parts of the country, including the Federal Capital Territory, are witnessing security challenges,  prompting growing concerns among residents.

According to a December 2023 Nigeria Security Report by Beacon Consulting Limited, an enterprise security risk management and intelligence firm, a total of 519 persons were abducted across 229 local government areas in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Since December 24, 2023, when suspected bandits attacked Garam, a community in Tafa LGA of Niger state, bordering the Bwari area council of the FCT, abductions of residents have occurred almost daily.

Six sisters and their father in the Bwari Area Council of the FCT were abducted by bandits on January 13, 2024.

The killing of Nabeeha Al-Kadriyar, one of the girls, generated anger among Nigerians.

Recently, at least 30 people have been killed and several others injured in a series of attacks around Mangu town, in Plateau State.

However, Idris said that all threats are being boldly confronted and that within the last week, several bandits, kidnappers and militants have been neutralised or arrested.

He said, “We fully acknowledge the duty and the responsibility of care that the Federal Government owes to every Nigerian, across the lines of age, gender, religion, ethnicity, and social class.

“In the area of security, all threats are being boldly confronted. We are taking the fight to the criminals’ dens, with promising results. Within the last week, several bandits, kidnappers and militants have been neutralized or arrested.”

The minister assured all that perpetrators of violence in Plateau State and other parts of the country are being brought to book and that justice will be done, and peace restored in all affected communities.

He said “The resurgent crisis in Plateau State is indeed highly regrettable, and we assure that all perpetrators of violence there, and everywhere else in the country, are being brought to book. Justice will be done, and peace will be restored in all affected communities.

“We salute the gallantry of security and intelligence agencies who are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that we are safe in our homes and on the highways, and that criminals have no breathing space.”

On the dwindling economy, he assured Nigerians  that impactful interventions are being rolled out to cushion the harsh effect.

Idris said “Regarding the economy, all relevant Ministries and Agencies of the Federal Government are working in coordinated fashion, to bring down inflation, stabilize foreign exchange rates, and create a truly enabling environment for business and investment.

“The Nigeria that President Tinubu seeks to build is one where no one is left behind. Impactful interventions are being rolled out, including a Students’ Loan Scheme, a Presidential Initiative to deploy lower-cost CNG mass transit buses to provide alternatives to petrol and diesel, and various low-interest loan schemes for businesses.

“The CNG interventions will bring down the cost of transportation by more than 50 percent. We urge Nigerians to take advantage of these opportunities as they emerge, as they have been designed for the benefit of all.”

On the issue of relocation of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, and of certain departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the minister noted “Even as we tackle our challenges with urgency and dedication, it is also necessary to remind all Nigerians of the need to resist all forces and narratives of misinformation and division.

“For example, it is not true that the relocation to Lagos of the Headquarters of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, and of certain departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria are political moves aimed at marginalizing a section of the country.

“These allegations are unfounded. Instead, these are pragmatic administrative steps to improve operational efficiency and reduce operating costs.”

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