.Lai Mohammed

—Justifies Lagos-Kano, Itakpe-Warri rail service suspension

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, ABUJA

THE Federal Government, yesterday described the attack on the convoy of the Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG Zone 12 headquartered in Bauchi, Audu Madaki, as an attempt by terrorists to score “a psychological point”.

The Minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated this while responding to a question from State House correspondents on what the attack means for the Federal Government.

Alhaji Mohammed, who was among the ministers that briefed journalists at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja said, “the government is taking the job security very seriously.”

Recall that suspected terrorists attacked the convoy of the AIG in Kaduna, injuring him and killing his Orderly.

AIG Madaki was said to be on his way to Abuja from Bauchi when the terrorists ambushed and attacked him between Barde and Jagindi area in Kaduna State at about 02:30 pm, Tuesday.

Although the AIG Madaki survived with gunshot injuries, his Orderly was shot dead.

Fielding question on the attack, the Minister said “On the issue of the attack on the AIG in Bauchi, I need further information from the IG as to the circumstances of the attack.

“But what I know is that bandits would always want to make this kind of spectacular attack just to score a psychological point.

“But I know that the government is taking the job of security very seriously. As you can see, even today, the Honorable Minister of the FCT has told you exactly what he is doing to ensure that security is improved.

“Over the last couple of days, I’ve seen that the FCT police command has also given out telephone numbers to call in case of any security breach or information.”

He said the success of the military has not received wide reportage as the terrorist attacks.

According to him, “I know that there have been quite a few successes by the military in overrunning the bandits around Abuja in the last couple of days.

“Regrettably, it’s like when the military is having the upper hand, they are not given the same kind of media coverage as when the bandits attack.”

Meanwhile, the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, has justified the halting of rail services nationwide.

He said the imminent security threats necessitated the move as it would be inappropriate to endanger lives.

Recall that the Nigeria Railway Corporation has suspended the Lagos-Kano and Ajaokuta train services over terror fears.

It also suspended services at the Ajaokuta station along Warri-Itakpe route because of the attack on some passengers by gunmen.

Justifying the move, Sambo it was better to suspend the services than subject Nigerians to terror threats.

He said, “I would like to state clearly that it is better to suspend a service where there is an imminent threat, and clear the threat first. Or where an incident had occurred and to investigate that incident, rather than jeopardise the life of a single Nigerian.

“So if there’s any suspension of rail services as of this morning, which is yet to be officially reported to me, because I had to come to Council very early this morning. As soon as I go back to the office, I will find out why. But Nigerians will rest assured that it is better to suspend the service than subject Nigerians to any threat to their lives.”

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