Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has written off statements credited to terrorists in a recent viral video threatening to abduct President Muhammadu Buhari and the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El Rufai, as ‘laughable’.
According to Mohammed who briefed State House Correspondents, shortly after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by the President, said such an approach was mere propaganda.
The Minister, however, gave indications that President Buhari would be hosting a security council meeting on Thursday, in view of emerging threats to the country from terrorist groups who appear to be emboldened since the successful jailbreak at Kuje correctional centre in Abuja.
Beyond this, the Minister gave indications that the Federal Government was considering asylum for a number of Cameroonians wanting to take refuge in Nigeria.
Lai who spoke on behalf of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Hajia Sadia Umar Farouk, said a standard operating procedure would be observed for the asylum seekers to verify if they were terrorists or not.
All these plans are being mulled just as the nation’s capital faces security threats from terrorist groups.
Explaining the rationale for the FEC deliberations, Lai said, “The issue of the standard operating procedure for asylum seekers from Cameroon is not a matter that started today. The issue of the separatist movement in Cameroon is many years old and every day, because of the proximity of Cameroon to Nigeria, we’ve witnessed an influx of refugees, seeking asylum, and under international regulations, there are certain procedures you must take for asylum seekers.
“So, all we have done today is to establish the standard procedure to ensure that those who claim to be asylum seekers are actually not insurgents themselves that have come to destabilize Nigeria or people who will come and be launching attacks against their own country from the comfort of Nigeria.
“On the security situation. I want to assure you that the President is aware of all these and as a matter of fact, I think tomorrow there’s going to be another Security Council meeting. So, it’s not a matter the President is taking lightly, and like I’ll always, say some of the measures we’re going to take are not measure that you can discuss openly here, but we’re as concerned as you are, we’re not going to abandon our responsibility.
“As to those who have issued threats to Mr. President, I think it’s more of propaganda than anything. It’s laughable”.
Meanwhile, in reaction to an impeachment threat from the National Assembly on the Presidency, giving him six months to overhaul the security architecture, Lai said, as rightly said, it was passed when we were deliberating, but we thank them for their patriotism and their concern, but we are working round the clock, 24 hours, to ensure that the situation is brought under control.
“I want to reassure you that the government is up to the task of ensuring security. Security challenges will come anywhere in the world, the important thing is the fact that you do not lose focus and you continue to work assiduously to overcome it. I want to assure you we are going to overcome,” he stated.
CULLED FROM DAILY