The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been advised to approach state governments for the latter to combat banditry and kidnappings ravaging the nation.
Information Minister Lai Mohammed who gave the charge on Tuesday in Abuja also exonerated the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari of being duty-bound to combat banditry and kidnappings which are rife nationwide.
Mr Mohammed who reacted during a press conference on security concerns raised by the opposition party over the growing insecurity across the country said the federal government which controls all the security apparatus is not vested with the responsibility to arrest and prosecute suspected kidnappers and bandits.
The government propagandist, who in 2014 was the mouthpiece of the then opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) and was at the forefront attacking the former president Goodluck Jonathan led federal government over the kidnap of over two hundred Chibok schoolgirls, now says state governments are legally empowered to arrest and prosecute the suspected criminal elements.
“The PDP alleged that kidnappers and bandits are not being brought to justice. This is apparently aimed at the federal government,” Mr Mohammed said.
“It is shocking that a party that ruled this nation for all of 16 years does not know that kidnapping and banditry are not federal offences. The PDP should therefore call out the states, including those being controlled by it, to ensure a rigorous prosecution of arrested kidnappers and bandits,” he added.
The minister claimed the incumbent administration which is reintegrating thousands of arrested Boko Haram members into the society had successfully prosecuted the terrorists.
“Meanwhile, PDP conveniently forgot that as far as terrorism, a federal offence, is concerned, this federal government has successfully prosecuted thousands of Boko Haram members in Kainji, as part of a continuing exercise. We are now seeking the cooperation of the judiciary to continue with the trial of arrested terrorists,” the minister added.