Lai Mohammed Likens Bandits To Area Boys

File photo of bandits operating in Northern Nigeria

The minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has compared the activities of bandits in the northern parts of the country to touts commonly referred to as ‘Area Boys’ illegally collecting levies in some states.

Mohammed, who was reacting to an article by The Economist magazine titled, ‘Insurgency, secessionism and banditry threaten Nigeria,’ said the fact that bandits collect taxes doesn’t mean they have taken over in some parts of the country.

The minister blasted the London-based magazine over the content of the article, saying it does not reflect the true situation.

Mohammed argued that imposing levies does not mean criminals are in charge.

He said, “Do you know how many places in this country where area boys collect taxes? And there is no terrorism or banditry there. I don’t want to mention names.

“In many of our cities, they carve out their own territory. So, it is not indicative of the bandits have taken over.

“No. I know many areas in Nigeria both in the South and the North where these kinds of things happen. So, it is not the same thing.”

Mohammed asked the media media to cease glorifying reports published by foreign media organizations.

He told journalists in Abuja that The Economist Intelligence Unit, a sister organisation of The Economist magazine had predicted victory for Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the build up to the 2019 general election.

“President Muhammadu Buhari won re-election by over three million votes. So, The Economist and other arms of the group are not infallible,” Mohammed said.

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