Terrorists Want To Paralyse Government – Maku

Terrorists Want To Paralyse Government – Maku

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 11:08 am

Minister of Information, Labaran Maku

Minister of Information, Labaran Maku

Labaran Maku, the Minister of Information, fielded questions from journalists after a meeting of Federal Executive Council devoted to discussing the Nyanya bomb attack last Wednesday. AYORINDE OLUOKUN was there.

What is government doing to free the remaining girls kidnapped in Chibok, Borno State?

Government didn’t have the full details as to how the girls were kidnapped except for the media report. But we will get the details. The thing with terrorists is that they go to areas where they are least expected. They go to soft targets, but I know that the awareness is increasing, particularly in the North-East. But the criminality of kidnapping of children is what makes this group of terrorists in Nigeria maybe among the worst in the world. They have complete lack of respect for human beings, complete lack of respect even for basic moral issues. When terrorists began to abduct female students and claim to be pursuing religious cause, which religion in the world permits terrorists to kidnap young female students and carry them to their camps? What are they doing with female students if the purpose of the terrorism is to [ensure] religious piety? All it shows clearly is that we are dealing with a group of people that have completely dissuaded themselves from all the influences of human civilisation. We are therefore facing a very difficult situation. There are schools spread across and it is not physically possible for security to be concentrated in every school all over the North-East. Unfortunately, this has happened and we are doing everything to make sure that we get those girls back. Like I said, we will get the details of what happened, but our most important concern is to make sure that further harm is not done to those children.

Since the terrorists are changing tactics by attacking soft spots, is government telling the security agencies to also review their strategies?

Terrorists have always hit soft spots. They go to places of least resistance; they strike at innocent people. The idea of their attack is to strike fear into the minds of the public, to make people feel helpless, make communities, societies look helpless so that you acquiesce to them. I think the major strategy of terrorists all over the world is the same.

But when our security men tell us that there are certain things they are doing, we go out in public condemnation. In the last one week, the security men have been under attack from all sorts of people. But there is information they have what you may not have. When they suspect people, they have reasons to suspect them. They are monitoring their communications, they have informants that can monitor these people. But everybody in Nigeria has become a terrorism expert. With terrorism, there are threats because all it needs is a lone suicide bomber to sneak into a market or any public gathering and strike. So, one of the things is that negative statements that can discourage the security forces should not be made.

Why is government so concerned about the Abuja blast even when many more people are dying in Borno State virtually every week?

Why would anyone say the people that were killed in Abuja are being treated differently from those killed elsewhere? This is something I don’t expect to come from any citizen at this time because through the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, we have done everything proactively to reach every nook and cranny to support, evacuate people, and provide medical services wherever there are such cases all over the country. Maybe because Abuja is closer to the centre of the media it (Nyanya explosion) is more in the news; a lot of your colleagues find it easier to get to Nyanya than Maiduguri. Otherwise, there is no segregation – a Nigerian life, whether it is lost in Nguru, Calabar or in my village, is the same life. The approach is the same.

You said most of the terrorists are foreigners; will Nigeria close her borders to prevent them coming in?

When we say Nigerians are not terrorists, does that therefore mean that some Nigerians are not involved in terrorism? We are saying that terrorism is not our tradition, terrorism is not our philosophy of life in this country, and terrorism is not our way of life. Yes, a number of our children have been indoctrinated into the ideology of terror, they are participating in the havoc that is being unleashed on the nation. But that does not represent the mentality, belief of the ordinary Nigerian who is everyday working with us to ensure the end of this terror. So, the statement we made is to be understood in the context that as a nation, we stand together against all forms of terrorism and all forms of criminality. I am aware that from time to time, we brief you about what Nigeria is doing with neighbouring countriesm – Niger, Chad and Cameroon – to bring this phenomenon under control.

There is significant cooperation among these countries. Remember there is a multinational force that is already working between Lake Chad and the border region.

What is the justification for the President’s attendance of a political rally in Kano 24 hours after the Nyanya attack?

You know one thing; terrorists want to paralyse society, to make sure that they keep you and I at home; to frustrate every normal activity in the society. And they will do it again and again if, the moment they strike, government and everything stops. They will be very happy. Their purpose is to destroy the normal working of the society. Remember that on the day terror struck, the President called off his trip to Ibadan. He was already moving out when they heard of the strike in Nyanya. He was supposed to be at the centenary birthday celebration of the Olubadan of Ibadan. The President immediately called off the trip and visited the scene personally and directed all the services to provide support and also appealed to the nation to remain united and assured the country of the determination of his administration in the war against terrorists. Don’t forget that this man is the President of this country more than any other person in this nation. This President has suffered psychologically as a result of this the criminality.

So, I think going to Kano was a statement and a loud statement that terrorists will not stop this country from moving and from working.

Join The Conversation

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.