Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Friday, appealed to Nigerians to recognise the rights of individuals and live together peacefully.
Mohammed spoke while featuring on TVC’s ‘This Morning’ programme monitored by Edujandon.com ..
He said the government was using back channels to solve herdsmen crisis with a view to restoring peace, especially in the South-West zone of Nigeria.
Oyo and Ondo states have been in the eye of the storm lately over security challenges and the moves to check the activities of killer herdsmen.
A popular Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo, well known as Sunday Igboho, had issued a seven-day notice to quit to herdsmen accused of crimes in the Ibarapa area of Oyo and enforced same. The activist had also confronted some Fulani herdsmen in parts of Ogun State.
Edujandon.com had also reported that in a bid to rid the state of kidnapping, rape, farmland destruction, amongst others, Governor Rotimi Akerdolu of Ondo State said herdsmen must register with the state government or vacate the state forest reserves.
When asked on Friday to comment on the herdsmen crisis and the activism of Sunday Igboho, the minister said non-state actors were free to talk but the government was poised to ensuring the security of lives and property in the country.
Mohammed also said the comments of people were not important but the action of the government to tackle the challenge at hand.
“Comments are not what is important, it is what are the steps the government is taking and I can assure you that a lot of back channels are approached to resolve this issue.
“There are instance where you will even have to employ third parties to create an enabling environment for tow gladiators to meet. It is not unknown. I know that during the rescue of the Dapchi school girls, I know the role the Red Cross played. So, there are a lot of back channels approach that are being taken to ensure all these flashpoints, all these crises are tamed. Non-state actors can talk, government acts and reassures,” he said.
The minister urged Nigerians to live together in peace and unity despite the diverse nature of the country.
Mohammed said, “We should lower the tension, we should bring down the temperature. Nigeria is a big country, it is diverse. We’ve been living together peacefully for centuries. We must continue to live together peacefully, recognising each other’s right.
“I am glad that political leaders, traditional leaders, religious leaders are all coming together to ensure that this matter, not just in the South-West, but everywhere else is resolved.
“We are not going to score any advantage by heating up the polity.
“The governors, the traditional rulers and religious leaders are all doing their best to ensure that all issues are resolved.”
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