Countries unite during national tragedies, Minister tells PDP

 Solomon Chung, Lagos

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Countries unite when tragedies occurs, and this is the norm everywhere, Nigeria’s Information and Culture Minister, Mr. Lai Mohammed has said.

Minister Mohammed said this on Sunday at press conference in Lagos, South West Nigeria.

He spoke against the backdrop of the reaction of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, to the release of the Dapchi girls.

“The PDP and its co-travelers do not understand that terrorism is a global problem. A terror attack on any country is an attack on all countries.

The United Nations was among the first international organizations to condemn the abduction of the Dapchi girls and also among the first to welcome their release.”

“We appeal for non-partisanship on the issue of security. We all have to be safe and alive before we can even belong to any political party. And whether you are in government or in opposition, Nigeria belongs to all of us.”

Perhaps we should ask the PDP what indeed the party knows about the abduction of the Dapchi girls, going by its statement that their abduction and release were stage-managed.”

“Don’t they know that our international friends are involved in the process that led to the release of the girls?,” he queried.

“Government would not tolerate any attempt by any person or group to trivialize or politicize security issues for politically motivated ends. Accordingly, security agencies would not hesitate to decisively deal with such unscrupulous characters.” Those are very clear words by the President that need no elaboration, the Minister submitted.

On behalf of the Federal Government, the Minister thanked all Nigerians for their support and prayers.

“We are grateful for their belief in the ability of this government to secure an early release of the girls. We will continue with the ongoing efforts to account for the remaining six Dapchi girls, and indeed to bring back our remaining Chibok girls.”

He said this Administration remains committed to the fight against terrorism and insurgency.

“Government is therefore willing to engage on measures which can lead to stopping the bloodshed and finding long-lasting solutions to the conflict.”

Fake news

Mr. Mohammed also appealed to the media to be more discerning in disseminating materials that serve no other purpose than to sabotage the ongoing efforts to end the insurgency and secure the release of the remaining Chibok and Dapchi girls.

“Obviously, the naysayers are growing more desperate and will stop at nothing, including disinformation and fake news, to muddle the waters.”

The Minister also used the opportunity to react to what he described as fake news making the rounds concerning a supposed Sergeant in the Nigerian Army, named David Bako, who said he was part of an alleged conspiracy by the Government to abduct the Dapchi girls.

“This is a classic example of what I have just said: Disinformation and fake news! I can tell you categorically that this David Bako is fake. There is no such soldier in the Nigerian Army.”

He said there was no conspiracy anywhere. The intention of those behind the disinformation and fake news is to cause disaffection between Christians and Muslims, and between Southerners and Northerners, he stated.

“This Administration’s success in seeking an early release of the Dapchi girls has ruffled many feathers. It has upturned a lot of plans by naysayers. They have not been able to sleep since the girls came back.

Their campaign to unseat President Buhari is fuelling their desperation. Nigerians should prepare to see more avalanches of disinformation and fake news. But they should not lend any credibility to such reports.”