States controlled by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the north-east consume 90% of the nation’s security vote, minister of information Labaran Maku, has said.
The minister also accused the opposition of hijacking the #BringBackOurGirls protest in its “desperation” to discredit the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government “and make political profit from the Chibok girls abduction saga”.
He said Nigeria’s GDP would have grown by at least 10% if the funds spent on fighting insurgency in those states had been invested in the economy but for the security challenges.
Maku, who did not give a breakdown of the security budget, said it is “sad” that Nigerians are now blaming the “fire fighter” ─ that is, the federal government ─ rather than those who “ignited” the fire ─ that is, the insurgents ─ whom he said are known to all.
He was briefing correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday.
Maku alleged that 90% per cent of the protesters are from the opposition party.
He said: “Today, the federal government is spending huge chunk of its resources in maintaining security, especially in the north-east, yet they constitute over 90% of those protesting against the federal government.
“Look at the entire money we are spending to maintain security in states controlled by the APC. So why do you come back and start playing politics? We are busy spending money to maintain security in those states, what have they done about it?
“Because 90% of all insurgency is in states controlled by that party, 90% of those campaigning to bring back Chibok girls are also members of that same party.”
Maku accused the media of “looking the other way” while the perpetrators of the insurgency “are being supported by the same media”.
He said: “I think that honestly if we want this country to grow, we must ask the relevant questions. The Chibok girls remain our number one priority. We will never sleep; we will not rest until God brings them out.
“But for you to now begin to look at it as if, when people do wrong, we are the fire fighters, the federal government is a fire fighter.
“We did not create this insurgence or the structure that led to them. You know where they came from, but you are now blaming the fire fighter for the fire.”