From Adetutu Folasade-Koyi, Abuja
The Federal Government has declared that kidnapping and banditry in some states of the federation were not federal offences.
It was also a day the Federal Government slammed the leading opposition party in the country, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for playing cheap politics with its Monday comments on insecurity in the country.
Government spoke through Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, at a press conference in the Federal Capital Territory, yesterday.
The Federal Government also noted that the PDP was merely playing the Ostrich when most of what it raised in its comments had already been addressed at a Federal Government-powdered town hall meeting on national security held in Kaduna, last month.
Asked about reports that political and religious leaders were allegedly inviting the military to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, Mohammed replied:
“Most of these (security) challenges are not insurmountable and some people are bent on distracting the country and have vowed to make the country ungovernable.
“The security agencies are working very hard to unmask these people, arrest them and prosecute them,” he said.
Regardless, the minister blasted the PDP for not knowing, having ruled for 16 years, that banditry and kidnapping were not federal offences.
“The PDP addressed a press conference on Monday, ostensibly to offer suggestions to the Federal Government on some topical issues, especially national security. The main opposition party said it was dropping the toga of politics in the national interest.
“Unfortunately, the PDP did not respect its own words, as it played cheap politics while playing the Ostrich. The party went ahead to make wild accusations against the president and his government. For example, the PDP said the government has refused to engage, and that we were running a ‘government of exclusion’.
“The opposition party then went ahead to reel out a number of suggestions as a way out of the current challenges facing the nation. Unfortunately, the recommendations by the PDP have exposed the opposition party’s gimmickry and the fact that it was merely playing politics with serious national issues, especially security.
“Had it not been so, and had it done its home work properly, the PDP would have known that most of those same recommendations were already contained in the outcome of the Federal Government’s town hall meeting on national security in Kaduna on April 8.
“The PDP accused this government of not engaging and of running a government of exclusion, forgetting, conveniently, that this Federal Government has consistently engaged Nigerians on topical national issues, including security, the fight against corruption, terrorism, infrastructure and farmer-herder conflict.”