Lai Mohammed Likens Tax Collection By Bandits In The North To Area Boys Collecting Cash From Commuters In The South.

Newsie Events Media:

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s minister of Information and Culture has on Thursday equated the collection of taxes conducted by the violent extremists across the northern parts of the country to the same level of security threat exhibited by the street thugs who extort cash from citizens in Southern parts of Nigeria.

The Minister urges citizens not to see activities of bandits and terrorists operation across the northern region as running their own enclaves outside federal jurisdictions just because they have the ability to estort financial gains through violence and intimidation.

He said “The issue is not about bandits collecting taxes, But that’s not the same as saying there is a new caliphate.”

Mr Mohammed said there are several communities across the South where armed thugs impose levies on residents without consequences.

“Do you know how many places in this country where area boys collect taxes and there is no banditry there?

“I don’t want to mention names. In many of our cities, they carve out their own territories. So what they are writing is nothing. It is not indicative that the bandits have taken over,” the minister said at a press briefing in his office on Thursday.

Whereas there are street thugs in Lagos and other southern cities, they operate largely under the shadows. But insurgents and bandit gangs in northern communities often sack security forces and introduce quasi-administrative roles to government trapped locals.

“The point is about you (Nigeria media) swallowing hook, line and sinker, a report by a foreign organisation, which you have not even interrogated yourself, that’s my problem,” the minister said.

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