Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says there is no preferential treatment for bandits, insurgents and secessionists.
Mohammed was reacting to the allegation that the federal government is pampering bandits and being hard on secessionists such as the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Speaking with NAN, the minister described the allegation as a misconception and fake news rolled into one.
“We noticed that of recent, there is this misinformation as regards the way the federal government, especially the military, is handling the issue of banditry and terrorism,” he said.
“There is this misconception that the federal government is softer on the terrorists in the north-east and the bandits from the north-west and the way they handle separatists and other criminals from the south-east and south-west.
“I want to say without any hesitation that this is a fallacy. It is a misrepresentation, misinformation and fake news all rolled into one.
“The truth of the matter is that the federal government does not make a distinction between terrorists and bandits. As far as the federal government is concerned they are all criminals and they are treated the same way.
“It is very important to set the record straight. Why do I say this? Because, it is a continuation of the destructive rhetoric of some commentators.”
The minister said the issue of security must not be politicised.
“The issue of security must not be politicised. Security is security. Bandits kill soldiers; they kill policemen and innocent people,” he said.
“So, why will the military be softer on one set of criminals than the other?”