Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed has stated that citizens in the north-east are no longer paying tax to Boko Haram.

This was disclosed by the information minister while speaking at a meeting with the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigerian (NPAN) in Lagos on Thursday.

Mohammed said the occupation of territories in the country by insurgents is now “a thing of the past”.

But the minister’s claim contradicts recent reports which say residents of the north-east and some parts of north-west pay tax to insurgents and bandits to have access to their farms.

Recall that the farmers killed in Borno at the weekend reportedly refused to pay tax to the insurgents before their slaughter.

Mohammed said the insurgents are no longer having a field day because of the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Now, let’s put things in context. Before Mr. President assumed office, Boko Haram could stroll into any city, especially in the north, to carry out deadly attacks. Abuja, the nation’s capital, Kano, Maiduguri, Jos, Damaturu, etc were regularly targeted,” he said.

“Motor parks, churches, mosques, shopping complexes were not spared. Today, that is a thing of the past. Suicide bombers used to
have a field day detonating their bombs and killing innocent people.

“Today, that is no longer the case. Detonating improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used to be a deadly tactic of Boko Haram. Today, that has changed.

“Boko Haram used to occupy territory, deposing and installing Emirs and collecting taxes. That’s no longer the case. These changes are not mere happenstance. They are part of the successes recorded by the military, under this president.”

The minister said those asking the president to resign over insecurity are “playing dirty politics”.

“In the wake of the killing, there have been calls in some quarters for Mr. President to resign,” he said.

“Well, let me say here that this call amounts to playing dirty politics with the issue of security, and it is cheap and irresponsible. Mr. President was elected in 2015 for a four-year term and re-elected in 2019 for another four-year term.

“No amount of hysterical calls for resignation will prevent him from serving out his term.”

Mohammed also said calling on the president to resign every time there is a setback in the war on terror “is a needless distraction and cheap politicking”.