The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says the progress recorded in combating banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping, especially in the North West zone, is under-reported.
The minister stated this on Tuesday at a special Town Hall Meeting on Security (Banditry, Cattle Rustling and Kidnapping) organised by the ministry in Katsina.
The event was attended by the governors of Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara, namely Aminu Masari, Aminu Tambuwal and Bello Matawalle as well as Ministers of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola and Defence, Bashir Magashi.
“Here in the North-west, the security challenges – Banditry, Cattle Rustling and Kidnapping – have been unique and daunting.
“The deadly attacks that claimed lives and destroyed property were daily making headline news all over the country.
“At a stage, the situation became so bad in some of the states in the North-west that many felt they were intractable.
“But thanks to the unrelenting efforts of the Federal government, as well as the determination and innovative efforts of the governments of the affected states.
”There has been a remarkable improvement and peace and security are gradually returning to the worst-hit states.
“Unfortunately, the progress that has been made in combating banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping, has not made the kind of headlines that the security challenges were making at their peak”, Mohammed observed.
The minister reiterated that the cardinal programmes of the Buhari Administration was to tackle insecurity across the country, and that the government had faced the challenges posed by it with grit and determination.
He said the federal government was unrelenting in tackling the challenges because without peace and security, there could be no development.
Mohammed said that the town hall meeting was, therefore, imperative for the Federal Government, working with the affected states, to provide a platform for the governors of the front-line states to highlight the successes they had achieved in their various states.
He said the Ministers would also highlight the efforts that had helped to drastically reduce the level of insecurity in the North West.
Mohammed recalled that town hall meeting was launched in Lagos on April 25 2016, to provide a platform for the Federal Government to regularly give account of its stewardship to the people and get a feedback from them.
He said the 16th edition being held in Katsina, was unique, being the first time that they were having Governors from the APC and the PDP as panelists.
The three governors acknowledged that security situation in their respective states had improved owing to the supports from the Federal Government, innovative approaches introduced and cooperation of stakeholders.
The governors recommended more funding for security agencies, more collaborations among states, deployment of modern technology, recruitment of more military personnel and policemen, value reorientation and job opportunities for youths to end the scourge.