SPEECH BY THE HON. MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE, ALHAJI LAI MOHAMMED, ON BEHALF OF PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI, AT THE COMMISSIONING OF THE PULAAKU RADIO STATION IN YOLA, ADAMAWA STATE, ON SUNDAY 25 NOV. 2017
It is my pleasure to be here today for the commissioning of the PULAAKU Radio Station
2. Your Excellency, Your Royal Highness, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, his commissioning could not have come at a better time, when we need to leverage information and communication to rev up the intelligence-driven phase of the war against terror.
3. As you may be aware, the war against Boko Haram, which has been widely successful in degrading the capacity of the terrorists to launch organized and coordinated attacks, has moved to the next phase, which will be intelligence-driven.
4. This is important because of the need to tackle the desperate and cowardly actions of Boko Haram terrorists who, having been scourged and scattered, have now resorted to using innocent and mostly under-age female girls to carry out suicide bomb attacks against soft targets.
5. That is why I approved the establishment of an intelligence fusion centre in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, to gather and share intelligence among security agencies in the country. This will go a long way in ending this campaign of suicide bombing.
6. Let me be clear: Boko Haram has been massively degraded and its surviving members put on the run. Instead of being hunters, they are now the hunted. In their desperation to stay relevant, they have resorted to the wicked and dastardly act of using innocent under-aged children to carry out suicide bomb attacks.
7. But what we are witnessing now are the last kicks of a dying horse. A dying horse manages to engage in some kicks. These kicks may be dangerous, but they don’t last long. Progressively, they become weaker and weaker until the horse finally gives up.
8. As I said earlier, this phase of the fight against Boko Haram will depend largely on information and communication. We are building on the nationwide campaign we launched last year, with the payoff line: ”If you see something, say something”. It simply means that we need everyone to be involved in getting the necessary information to tackle the terrorists. They are not ghosts, and some of them live among us. We must all, therefore, support our gallant troops, many of
whom have made the supreme sacrifice in this war, by providing information that can help rid our communities of terrorists
9. It is important for the media – especially radio and television – to continue to play their part in this war, by offering their platforms to communicate useful information to the populace. As part of our sensitization campaign, which is still running on national radio and television as we speak, we put out those little signs that give up the terrorists, and which the people must watch out for. Help us communicate this information to the people of Adamawa.
10. The timing of the commissioning of this radio station is most auspicious. Only a few days ago, this state suffered from one of such cowardly and inhuman attacks by the terrorists. It is a sharp reminder that we need to step up our game to tackle this scourge of suicide bombing.
11. Again, I condole with the government and people of Adamawa over this attack. I want to implore this radio station, and others like it, to donate airtime for the national sensitization campaign that I referred to earlier. We will gladly make available to them the materials we produced for the campaign for dissemination to the people of the state.
12. May I also urge this and other radio stations to use their platform to help in the deradicalization of those who have been hoodwinked by the fringe ideology of Boko Haram, and to help change the mentality of the people concerning the need for all to know that security is the business of all, not for security agencies alone.
13. Your Excellency, Your Royal Highness, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, radio remains a most powerful tool of mass communication, even in this multimedia age. To those with access to other platforms, such as the social media, radio remains powerful. But it is even more so for those without access to social media, those who live in isolated communities.
14. That is why I am delighted at the launch of this radio station. I congratulate the Emirate Council for this giant step, and I wish the station a successful operation