Nigeria’s minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has made it clear that the United States and the United Kingdom would not be allowed to stampede Nigeria on the issue of security.
“You see, how many school shootings happen in the US? How many senseless killings happened in the US? Have they been able to predict what’s going to happen next and which school is going to be a victim next? Do Nigerians in the US also feel safe?”
The minister, who spoke to newsmen today, shortly after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential villa, Abuja, accused the US and the UK of issuing unnecessary security advisory on Nigeria while they themselves are deep in insecurity.
He said that for the US Embassy to talk about non emergency staff to leave Nigeria, is like Nigeria mission in the US also sending a travel advisory and warning in Houston and say, look, don’t go don’t take your children to school, because there could be mass shooting tomorrow.
“I mean, it is within their rights to say that their people should go home if they want to. But we, as a country, have a responsibility to keep our country safe, and we’re not going to be, you know, stampeded at all, by whatever any government decides to tell his people.”
Lai Mohammed said that concrete steps have been taken by the Nigerian security authorities on the security matter and asked people to stop spreading all unverified news.
He also advised media men in Nigeria to “stop de-marketing your home country. Every country has its security challenges. We have ours and we are facing them”.
The minister recalled that the travel advisory was issued by both the US government, the UK Governments to their citizens living in Nigeria on Sunday, were issued to their citizens at the time he was hosting a UNESCO conference on media and information literacy, “which is meant to equip people on how to differentiate between fake news and genuine news.
“And one of the things that we found out during the conference is that people these days, don’t even analyze a story before they either consume it, or they share it.
“Now, of course, this so called travel advisory as far as we’re concerned, as a government, we have in the last few months, taken a firm handle of security. What I said is that click baiting, which is that you find a story which is not verified and you immediately share it always cause panic.
“I want to reassure both citizens, non-Nigerians, Nigerians living in this country, that security agencies are on top of this matter. Of course, the terrorists would not stop to try to embarrass or intimidate government but what I’m saying is that this country is safe.
“And there’s no cause for alarm. No cause to panic. Unfortunately, because of that travel advisory, on Sunday, many schools were closed, shops were closed, travel plans were disrupted. We don’t need it. The security – our soldiers, our police are working round the clock to contain any terrorist attack. This is where we stand.