Recent activities of bandits in the North West especially the blowing off of Abuja-Kaduna rail panel have confirmed they have characteristics of a terrorist group.
Director General of Progress Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Moh. Lukman, who made this remark yesterday noted that it was high time their activities are nipped in the bud.
“All the studies about insecurity and banditry in Nigeria only confirmed that the bandits operating in the North-West and North-Central have all the characteristics of terrorist groups”, he said in a statement.
In the statement titled ‘Nigeria’s Insecurity and Communication Problems’, he also berated those urging the federal government
not to brand them terrorists.
“Interestingly, apologists and self-appointed counsels to the bandits, such as Sheikh Ahmed Gumi are becoming more confident, and are irresponsibly mobilising opposition against declaring bandits’ terrorists”, he said.
While noting the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is doing its best to tackle the raging security challenges, he condemned a situation where some local and foreign media present the government as standing aloof in the face of current security challenges.
He stated for instance that government is mobilising the armed forces and ensuring they are up and doing, even as he called on government to do more especially in its information management.
This he said it can do by ensuring that reports of events by all credible media platforms conform to some minimum verifiable standards.
He added that the new regime of problem-solving information management should seek to strengthen national compliance to existing statutory provisions in the country.
The politician urged the party and its government to develop some coordination structure with the objective of creating both generic and implied messages aimed at communicating initiatives of APC-led government to resolve challenges of insecurity.
“It is important that the capacity of designated structures and functionaries to promote messages that mobilise Nigerians, which ensure that the understanding and causes of events form integral part of messages as well as recommendations of what is required to solve any possible associated problems triggering the event”, Lukman said in the statement.
In the same vein, he urged political leaders and actors to be honest in mobilising responses to challenges.
“The current structure of information management is part of the problem and must change if APC and its government are to effectively mobilise Nigerians to support initiatives to resolve national security challenges. Failure to recognise this may continue to damage the electoral prospect of APC.
“Engineering the evolution of the new regime of problem-solving information management is central to the resolution of Nigeria’s security challenges”, he said.
He further noted that part of the objectives of evolving a new problem-solving information management is to ensure synergy of activities of the party, government and as much as possible major national players in the business of mobilising Nigerians to contribute towards resolving national challenges.
Lukman added that in the context of such a coordinated strategy, there should be some regular consultations to review national challenges and develop common strategies.