The Minister of Information and supervising Minister of Defence, Labaran Maku, on Monday lauded the Federal Government’s efforts at curbing insecurity in the country, adding that the war against terrorism has been more successful in Nigeria than in other countries including Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Maku said “in the last one year, we have faced insecurity head-on, particularly the insurgency in the North East of Nigeria” and added that the declaration of State Of Emergency in three north-eastern states made it possible to contain the insurgency within the north east of Nigeria.
“Government’s investment in security has been a success,” he said.
“In the last year, there were less attacks in the north east and even in the north east today, you would notice that a lot of the activities of the insurgents are now contained within Borno and Yobe states,” he said.
Although there have been recent attacks on government installations, Mr Maku explained that surprise attacks are expected but that nation is winning the war overall.
“The success we have recorded in the last one year should not be overshadowed by recent hit-back at the Maiduguri airport and at Bama. The reality of the situation is that the success of the security measures will not be without interruptions (will not be without occasional hit-back by the insurgents).”
He highlighted the situation in Kano, where insecurity has been “largely controlled,” which he credited to increase in intelligence agents and co-operation between citizens and security forces.
He admitted that there are challenges because the war against insecurity is urban guerilla warfare. “We are not fighting a standing army. We are fighting people that wear civilian uniform, live in congested cities; that strike and run back.
“So long as this is a guerilla war, there would be occasional attacks and surprise attacks by the insurgents, but (for) the overall war; I believe that the federal government and Nigerians are winning.”
“We have succeeded in containing insurgents in Kano, he said and went further to state that Nigeria’s efforts in curbing terrorism have been more successful than that in Pakistan and several other countries. They have had more widespread attacks than we are having in Nigeria today.”
He called on Nigerians to consider the overall development of how the government has performed in containing the insurgents.
Performance of Multinational JTF
Speaking on the performance of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF), Mr Maku who said the agency is not failing in its own responsibilities told Channels Television that troops from Chad, Niger Republic and from Nigeria are not “necessarily large enough to contain the entire boundary of Niger, Chad and Cameroon.” “There are weak spots,” he said.
“There is weakness at the Cameroon border and Niger has been unstable. He went further to describe these areas as “a vortex of all sorts of criminals,” where there is a flow of arms. He added that terrorism will not end in the coming year as insurgents will continue to attack and run until the atmosphere becomes completely inhospitable.
He called on government and community leaders in the north east to co-operate with the security agents to divulge more information on the insurgents living amongst them.
Also, he warned politicians in the troubled states to desist from using violence as a means of politics. “These politicians must stop it because it is now costing the nation trillions of Naira which we would have been using for the development of the country.”