From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government has slammed the Global Advocates for Terrorism Eradication (GATE), a United States non-profit organisation, over its sponsorship of terrorism allegation.
Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement by the Special Assistant to the President (Media), Office of the Minister of Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi, described the allegation that the Nigerian government is a sponsor of terrorism as a disgusting distraction orchestrated by those seeking to weaken the ongoing massive onslaught against terrorism and banditry.
Mohammed said: ‘This organisation called GATE is not even worth the ink with which its name is written. How can a serious organization accuse a government that is tackling the twin evil of terrorism and banditry with uncommon determination of sponsoring terrorism?
‘Is it not curious that this organisation has chosen this particular time, when terrorists are either surrendering in droves or running helter-skelter, as a result of a renewed offensive against them by the military, to orchestrate a distraction? What could be GATE’s motive if not to weaken the fight against terror and banditry?
‘GATE and its sponsors should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves and should quit trying to distract our gallant troops who are doing everything possible, including making the supreme sacrifice, to keep our country safe,’ Mohammed said.
Mohammed further said the fact that GATE, in making its absurd allegation, relied on the words of a thoroughly-discredited, fake-news-peddling former Nigerian Navy intelligence officer has shown the hollowness of its allegation.
‘In the fight against terrorism, Nigeria has availed itself creditably by tackling home-grown terrorists with links to global terrorist organisations. We make bold to say that no administration in Nigeria has risen to the challenge of terrorism like the Buhari Administration has done.
‘The acquisition of a myriad of platforms, the boost to the morale of our fighting forces and the leadership provided by President Muhammadu Buhari have combined to put our gallant troops in good stead to frontally confront and put on the run the terrorists. Fittingly, Nigeria’s efforts at tackling terrorism have been hailed globally.
‘What our gallant men and women need at this time is the support, encouragement and prayers of all, not the distracting antics of a relevance-seeking, feckless organization masquerading as a terrorism eradication advocate,’ Mohammed also said.