Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammad Buhari on Media and Publicity, says the president deserves credit over his efforts in tackling insecurity in the country.
Shehu disclosed this on Friday while presenting a paper, tagged ‘Fake news: Challenges of information management’, at the 10th year anniversary of the Federal University Dutsin-Ma (FUDMA), in Katsina State.
He said, “When the government came to power, the terrorist group held and administered an area the size of Belgium. Now they hold none. The terrorists are hiding out amongst remote forests and across borders.
“This makes it difficult to extinguish the final flames of the insurgency, and the government has no illusions of the potent threat still posed.
“Recent statistics have shown that over 14,500 boko haram members have voluntarily surrendered.
“However, the progress made cannot be denied. In the face of rising crime and insecurity, the government’s new community policing initiative was launched.
“Some 10,000 new constables were recruited and the process is on for another 10,000 to be recruited from the areas they will safeguard as opposed to past practice.
“The government hopes this will bring policing closer to local communities. N13billion was earmarked for the initial initiative. Going by the plan, every year will see an additional 10,000 policemen.
“It is an opinion that the president’s comments on IPOB, which led the banning of twitter in Nigeria was controversial. For many it was not.
“President Buhari has therefore been warning against social media disruptive and divisive influences, and the government’s action is not a knee-jerk reaction to Twitter’s preposterous deletion of his tweet which should have been read in full.”
He added, “The tweet was not a threat, but a statement of fact. As a terrorist organisation, IPOB poses a significant threat to the safety and security of Nigerian citizens.
“When the President said that they will be treated “in a language they understand,” he merely reiterated that their force shall be met with force. It is a basic principle of security services response world over.
“This is not a promotion of hate, but a pledge to uphold citizens’ right to freedom from harm. The government cannot be expected to capitulate to terrorists,” Shehu emphasized.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor (VC) of the University, Prof. Armaya’u Hamisu-Bichi, said it is a great pleasure to witness a decade of existence of the institution.