Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said bandits, insurgents and secessionists are treated without preferential treatment by the Federal Government, describing all of them as criminals.
Mohammed stated this while reacting to the allegation that the federal government is pampering bandits and being hard on secessionists such as the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The minister who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria described the allegation as a misconception and fake news rolled into one.
“We noticed that of recent, there is this misinformation as regards the way the federal government, especially the military, is handling the issue of banditry and terrorism,” he said.
”There is this misconception that the federal government is softer on the terrorists in the north-east and the bandits from the north-west and the way they handle separatists and other criminals from the south-east and south-west.
“I want to say without any hesitation that this is a fallacy. It is a misrepresentation, misinformation and fake news all rolled into one.
“The truth of the matter is that the federal government does not make a distinction between terrorists and bandits. As far as the federal government is concerned they are all criminals and they are treated the same way.
“It is very important to set the record straight. Why do I say this? Because, it is a continuation of the destructive rhetoric of some commentators,” he added.
Mohammed noted that the government was winning the war against terrorism in the North East.
He observed that the surrendering of Boko Haram insurgents shows that peace is returning to the war-ravaged region.
Mohammed stressed that the military has heightened the “assaults and attacks” against the insurgents which have enabled it to reclaim more territories.
“There is no doubt about the fact that the government is winning the war against the terrorists,” he emphasised.