By Henry Iheanacho
The federal government says kidnapping and banditry are not federal offences in Nigeria.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed stated this on Tuesday, in response to the statement on insecurity by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“It is shocking that a party that ruled this nation for all of 16 years does not know that kidnapping and banditry are not federal offences”, he said.
The minister told the PDP to call out the states, including those being controlled by it, to ensure a rigorous prosecution of arrested kidnappers and bandits.
Mohammed said the opposition party did not respect its own words, as it played cheap politics while playing the ostrich.
He noted that the party made wild accusations against the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
The minister said; “For example, the PDP said the government has refused to engage, and that we were running a ‘government of exclusion’, and not engaging stakeholders.”
Mohammed insisted that the current administration has consistently engaged Nigerians on topical national issues, including security, the fight against corruption, terrorism, infrastructure and farmer-herder conflict.
He said the latest of such Town Hall Meetings was the one in Kaduna and further listed the recommendations.
He recalled that the participants agreed: “That the governance of human society should be based on Law rather than the whims and caprices of human beings and must be obeyed by all as all persons are equal before the law including the lawgivers.
“That there is an urgent need for political restructuring and not separation; That the Judiciary be decentralized and reformed through Constitutional Amendment to remove the unitary control of the Superior Courts.
“That governments at all levels should ensure free, qualitative and compulsory Primary Education for all children of school age.
“That the Military, Police and other Security Agencies be expanded in number, retrained, provided with modern equipment and technology to cope with emerging security challenges.
“That both religious and traditional leaders encourage and promote inter-marriages for unity as contained in the 1999 Constitution as amended, Article 15, 3(c) which prescribes inter-marriage among persons from different places of origin, or of different religious, ethnic or linguistic association or ties.
“That the establishment of State Police be supported by the National and State Houses of Assembly to enable State Governments to have firm control in addressing security issues.
“That Traditional Rulers be given their age-long role of maintaining peace and security within their domain.
“That Local Government Autonomy be actualized to enable them have control of their areas including the ungoverned spaces in tackling security challenges.
“That the Farmers/Herders clashes be addressed by the establishment of ranches, grazing reserves with modern amenities to check the trans-humans of the herders.”