By G9ija

The Federal Government has assured Nigerians that never again will terrorists, bandits, and other criminal elements hold sway in any part of the country.

Mr Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, gave the assurance on Monday while addressing a joint press conference in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Although he stated that the government has yet to completely end the security challenges in the country, the minister believes the worst is over.

“As you are all aware, the issue of security has dominated our national discourse in recent times, against the background of the terrorism, banditry and kidnapping in the North-East, North-West and North Central; separatist violence and crude oil theft in the South-East and South-South, as well as cultism, armed robbery and sundry crimes in the South-West,” he said.

“Today (Monday), we are here to tell you that while we may not be there yet, our military and other security agencies have succeeded – and are succeeding – in substantially restoring security across the nation.

“As far as the daunting security challenges we face are concerned, we can tell you that the worst is over. Never again will terrorists and bandits and their cohorts hold sway in our country.”

According to Mohammed, the security challenges have been daunting and undoubtedly the greatest threat to the peace and security of the country since the civil war from 1967 to 1970.

“It is the kind of challenge that would have overwhelmed many nations, but thanks to the purposeful leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, we can say, I want to repeat, that the worst is over and peace and security are gradually returning to the land,” he said.

The minister, however, clarified, “Please don’t misunderstand or misrepresent this assertion. We may still witness isolated cases of security challenges here and there, but it will not be on the scale that we have witnessed in the past.”

He commended the President for his leadership, saying he remained resolute at a time when many threw their arms up in the air and felt it was all over.

Amid the call for the use of foreign mercenaries to tackle the security challenges, Mohammed said President Buhari never wavered in his belief in the ability of the security forces to rise to the occasion, and they did.

“Some said the security challenges have overwhelmed the military, but the military has now demonstrated that no group of ragtag criminals can ever overwhelm them,” he stated.

“Terrorists and bandits and co can run but cannot hide, and this has been demonstrated by the arrest of those who attacked a church in Owo. These criminals can run but cannot hide, as we have seen in the decimation of the cowards who ambushed the Brigade of Guards troops in Abuja.”