By Rotimi Ijikanmi
The Federal Government has vowed to tackle those launching deadly attacks on the nation’s security personnel with overwhelming force.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said this on Tuesday in Lagos at a meeting with Online Publishers.
He said the growing dangerous trend was a declaration of war against the nation which would be resisted by force.
“Soldiers as well as police, customs and other security agents have been killed and maimed in some parts of the country in this growing trend of targeting security forces.
“I want to say unequivocally, that any attack on our security men and women is an attack on the state and a declaration of war against the nation.
“It follows, therefore, that this will be countered with overwhelming force,’’ he said.
“When those whose responsibility it is to protect us are themselves being subjected to mindless attacks, it can only be for one reason only: To instill fear and evoke a sense of pervasive insecurity among the people.
“Whether known or unknown gunmen, those engaging in this dastardly act will pay dearly for their actions.”
Mohammed said the security challenges confronting the nation were systemic.
He said in addition to kinetic efforts, the government was embarking on various non-kinetic measures to most effectively tackle the challenges.
He recalled that his ministry on April 8, held a Town Hall Meeting on national security in Kaduna which came out with an implementable 10-point agenda.
Mohammed said the recommendations from the meeting included, political restructuring instead of separation, qualitative and compulsory primary education for all children of school age.
He said the meeting also resolved on state police, expansion, retraining of military, police and security agencies as well as providing them with modern equipment.
The meeting also resolved on Local Government autonomy as well as constitutional role of maintaining peace and security for traditional rulers within their domain.
He said it was also recommended that ranches, grazing reserves should be established with modern amenities to check the trans-humans of the herders and farmers-herdsmen clashes.
The minister said resolutions from the town hall meeting had been taken to the National Economic Council for considerations. (NAN