The presidency said bombing attacks have reduced since President Mohammadu Buhari took up office in 2015.
Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, said this in an interview with the Crest newspaper.
He also condemned Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria, for being political in his criticism of President Buhari.
Adesina said: “Whatever former President Obasanjo says now cannot be taken as neutral. It cannot be taken as something from a disinterested party because he has a political position where he anchors everything he says. His opinion then cannot be taken as the gospel truth any longer.
“It can only be the opinion of one man and he has the right to that opinion.
“No doubt, there are security challenges in the country, but are things better than 2015? Yes, things are better than in 2015.
“In 2015, do you know how many bombs went off daily in this country? Yes, daily! And with scores dead in different parts of the country!
“It happened in the North-East; happened in the North-West; happened in the North-Central. Abuja, the federal capital, was not immune from it. But, that has largely been reduced.
“You hardly hear of those bombs going off again because the government has made a big difference. Now, we have challenges in other areas-kidnapping, armed banditry, armed robbery, and all that. Yes, there are challenges but the government exists to solve challenges. And this government is doing its best to solve the challenges. People also exaggerate things for political reasons. We are not saying those challenges are not there. Of course, they are there.”
The presidential spokesman said Nigeria would not disintegrate contrary to predictions.
He said: “But then to now say the entire country has been taken over, to say that the government is failing, is political. Nigeria is still there, it is very solid. It will remain solid. It will remain one, and the challenges will be overcome.
“Government is not the only institution responsible for security. It is a collaborative thing between the government and the governed. Government at the federal level is not the only one responsible for security.
“But what do we find? You find some people, they will go and cause trouble at the local government (level), and they will be calling President Buhari, who is at the centre, to come and resolve it.
“You have a government at the federal level; you have a government at the state level. And you have a government at the local level. All of them-federal, states, and local governments, must collaborate to end this security challenge. The people, as well as the traditional institutions, have their roles to play. It is a collaborative thing.”
Concerning the menace of herders-farmers clashes nationwide, Adesina said the challenges were aggravated by those he termed as “political Fulani herdsmen” to de-market the administration of Buhari.
He said: “The herdsmen-farmers clashes are causing security challenges. There are also political Fulani herdsmen; those ones have been created by hidden hostile hands who want to de-market the government.
“The Fulani issue is there but it is no way near what has been trumpeted, and what has been claimed. To some people in the media, there is no other criminality in the country except Fulani herdsmen.
“Even when other criminals strike, it is Fulani herdsmen. It is stereotyping. It is finger-pointing which is not based on facts. I am not saying that there are no challenges about Fulani herdsmen due to climate change, dwindling resources and things like that. Yes, we have those challenges. But it is not every criminality perpetrated in the country that is done by the Fulanis.
“We have always lived with Fulani herdsmen in this country. They drive their cattle from different parts. When the rains are here, you see them. They move southwest and they get to forage for their cattle and all that. And when the rains go and the water recedes, you find them following the water as it recedes. In the process, they drive their herds into farmlands and it becomes an issue. There was a way that the problem was settled in this country before.
“The problem was there in the first republic, even in the second republic. But it was not as bad as we have it now because climate change has affected vegetation and the water table. Lake Chad, for instance, is ten percent of its former size. That has seriously affected grazing and availability of resources because the herdsmen follow the water. They follow where there is green grass to feed their animals.”
SaharaReporters, New York