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Lai Mohammed

The federal government has stated that the country may continue to be at the mercy of terrorists unless global partners avail her the needed platforms to acquire weapons to fight insurgency.

The Minister of Information, Culture, Lai Mohammed stated this on Monday while answering questions from newsmen in Government house, Makurdi, after he paid a courtesy visit on Governor Samuel Ortom.

The Minister was in Benue for the official hand over of the National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), to the federal government done by Gov. Ortom.

Mohammed who was reacting to the killing of 43 persons in Borno state on Saturday described what happened in Borno as unfortunate, saying the federal government was committed to protecting lives and properties of Nigerians.

He lamented that while terrorists, world over were being financed globally to access weapons, efforts by the Nigerian government to access weaponry were being frustrated by foreign partners, a situation making innocent citizens susceptible to attacks.

Speaking further, Mohammed said “When people talk about terrorism, they don’t seem to appreciate the fact that terrorism is not a local but a global issue and there is no part of the world that is not experiencing pockets of terrorism.

“We will never stop protecting lives and livelihood, but you must understand that we are also dealing with terrorists who are financed globally and we also need more support from global partners.

“For instance, Nigeria had made attempts to acquire better and more effective platforms to deal with terrorists and for one reason or the other we have been denied these platforms; these weapons and without adequate platforms, we will remain at the mercy of terrorists.

“But you see fighting terrorists is not a joke, because what actually happened in Borno state was quite unfortunate.

“You see, you must be able to look at the strategies of the terrorists; you see terrorists also use media and publicity as oxygen. So when they go on this kind of mindless killing of innocent people, it is like dying terrorist group will suddenly spring to life.

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“It does not mean that the government is not doing enough. Terrorism whether in Africa, in Afghanistan or any other place in the world has the same concept; which is that they are a group of people who are extremists in their thoughts, who don’t believe that we and you should be alive.”

Earlier, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom who played host to the Minister, appreciated efforts of the federal government to curb insecurity in the state.

Ortom stated that for that reason, today, Benue was relatively calm and the issue of herdsmen attacks have reduced to the barest minimum.

He warned that herdsmen still coming with their cattle to graze in the state should know they are trespassing and the open grazing prohibition law would catch up on them.

He appealed to the federal government to also, as a matter of urgency, release the promised N10 billion to enable Benue rebuild homes of farmers for them to go home.