Aregbesola: No Insurgency Stronghold in Nigeria Anymore
•Says army has sent report on Kuje jailbreak to Buhari
•Decries inadequacy of passport processing centres nationwide
Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, yesterday, said there were no more insurgency strongholds in any part of the country, making it the biggest feat of the Muhammadu Buhari administration. Aregbesola stated this at the fourth edition of the “PMB Administration Scorecard 2015-2023 Series” held in Abuja,
He disclosed that the interior ministry and the service chiefs had concluded their investigation on the Kuje jailbreak, which occurred in March, and had sent their report to Buhari. He noted that the police and other security agencies had recaptured some of the inmates that escaped from the facility, although many of them were still at large.
The minister also conceded that there were unmitigated challenges in the processing and issuance of international passports to eligible Nigerians in many of the centres across the country.
Aregbesola described the banishing of insurgents from the country as the biggest security achievement of the Buhari Administration.
He said, “For me, the biggest achievement of the administration is our ability to push the insurgents out of our land. There is no insurgency stronghold anymore in Nigeria and that is the biggest achievement by our security agencies, which most people conveniently overlook.”
He noted that at the advent of the administration in 2015, several local government areas in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states were under the effective control of the insurgents.
He claimed that was no longer the situation, saying, “There is no square inch of Nigerian soil under the control of the insurgents. It is the biggest achievement of our administration in regard to internal security. Yes, there are security issues here and there, but tell me of any nation, where there are no security challenges? There is none.”
Admitting that there were challenges in the processing and issuance of passports in the country, he said the government was working towards addressing the bottlenecks by creating more passport processing centres across the country.
He also said the administration would begin to produce passports locally before it leaves office next year.
According to him, “The real problems we have with passport application process today are the bottlenecks. I won’t deny the fact that we don’t have enough processing centres and we are working on that. Lagos and Abuja are still problematic, because we have limited processing centres. Lagos has three centres now when it should have minimum of 20 processing centres, while Abuja has just two.”
He added that the processing centres would operationalise before the end of the year at the Ministry of Interior and Office of the Head of Service of the Federation for civil servants, in addition to another centre for the Army at the Defence Headquarters to ease the pressure on the system.
On the Kuje jailbreak, Aregbesola said it would no longer be easy for assailants to violate any of the country’s custodial centres. He said the federal government had taken a bold step to build 3,000 capacity custodian centres in six locations across the country, saying the biggest in Janguza, Kano State, is one of its kind in Africa and is 95 per cent complete.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the resort to fake news and disinformation by a section of the media was becoming a great threat to the success of the 2023 general election. Mohammed said this was a dangerous development, which must be nipped in the bud.
“If the opposition has suddenly realised that they cannot match the ruling party in a free and fair election, and have, thus, decided to weaponise fake news and disinformation, the media should not allow itself to be used for that nefarious purpose,” Mohammed warned.