The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has urged Nigerians in the Diaspora not to rely entirely on social media reports on the security challenges facing Nigeria.
Osinbajo said at a townhall meeting in New York on Sunday, 23 June 2019, that social media “tends to be hysterical about practically everything”.
Responding to several questions and comments on the security situation in Nigeria, especially on the spate of killings and kidnapping and what the government is doing to address the situation, Osinbajo said: “With respect to general kidnapping which we have seen in parts of the country, again, this is not entirely new.
“In fact, some of the kidnapping stories you read or listen to are simply not true anywhere, some are fuelled by politics.
“There are cases of kidnapping, no question at all about that, but some of the more dramatic stories that you hear are simply not true.
“Every report of kidnapping we receive, we try to verify, and at the end of the day you find out that people just tell all sorts of stories.”
The report by the Nigerian Television Authority on Monday, 24 June 2019, quoted the vice president as saying that the federal government was working with the states to check where the kidnappings were taking place, using technology to track the perpetrators.
He said the efforts were already yielding results, with several arrests made by security agencies in the affected areas.
Osinbajo said the government was capable of addressing the security challenges, assuring Nigerians that the news “will be a lot better very soon”.
On banditry and farmers/herders clashes in the north-western and north central zones of Nigeria, Osinbajo described them as “resource conflicts”.
According to him, banditry, especially in Zamfara and Katsina States was more of a fight over the control of the mining sites by armed groups.
He said the government was taking several measures, including shutting down the mines, to address the problem.
“In the north central, we have the livestock transformation plan to address the farmers/herders conflict.
“Ultimately, it is ranching that will solve the problem because you cannot have people wandering across the country with their cattle.
“It is not helpful to them, this they know, because ranching is more convenient and profitable.
“So, we are building herd dams in the northern states so that people don’t necessarily come down south in search for water and green pastures for their herds.
“We are also trying to ensure we provide grazing areas before we come to cattle routes,” he added.