The Federal Government has accused the Zamfara State government, of allegedly playing politics with the abduction of the students of Federal University Gusau, to score cheap political goals.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Deputy Director, Press, Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation, Suleiman Haruna on Monday night.
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris in the statement, expressed disappointment, following a statement credited to the Zamfara State Governor, Dr. Dauda Lawal, accusing the FG of interacting with bandit groups that abducted some students of the Federal University Gusau, without the knowledge of the state government.
Alhaji Idris slammed Lawal for playing politics with the sensitive matter, rather than appreciating the efforts of agents for the prompt move to rescue the abducted students.
The Minister said in the statement, that the Federal Government’s institutions were empowered by law to spring to action, with or without prompting, to ensure the safe return of citizens illegally taken hostage, like in the case of these hapless students.
“The fact that details of such delicate operations are not revealed by the institutions responsible does not make it in any way surreptitious, as the Zamfara State Government atrociously described this effort.
“The minister states, for the avoidance of doubt, that no official of the Federal Government is engaged in negotiation with any bandit or group of bandits. The government, however, maintains its resolve to explore every available avenue that can lead to the de-escalation of tension and bring back peace to communities ravaged by banditry.
“However, if communities decide to borrow a leaf from what has helped quench unrest in other parts of the country to engage themselves in dialogue, the Federal Government would not be in a haste to condemn such people-driven initiative,” Idris said.
The Minister however assured Nigerians that the Federal Government and its institutions were working assiduously to turn around the current situation and bring an end to the ebbing cases of banditry, kidnapping and all forms of criminality in the country.
However, the minister warned that political differences or personal fights with anybody should not be brought into the serious matter of national security, to avoid demoralising the troops or derailing the government’s efforts.
Idris also maintained that the Federal Government is willing to listen and continue its ongoing engagement with all stakeholders across the country, to work out a lasting solution to the security problems confronting the country while urging everyone to join hands with the government in addressing the situation.