The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said bandits imposing levies on communities in Northern Nigeria are like thugs known as ‘area boys’ in the South.
He said does not mean the bandits have over the communities.
Mohammed stated this during a press conference in Abuja on Thursday while reacting to an article by The Economist magazine titled, ‘Insurgency, secessionism and banditry threaten Nigeria.’
He said: “Do you know how many places in this country where area boys collect taxes? And there is no terrorism or banditry there. I don’t want to mention names.
“In many of our cities, they carve out their own territory. So, it is not indicative of the bandits have taken over.
“No. I know many areas in Nigeria both in the South and the North where these kinds of things happen. So, it is not the same thing.”
Mohammed said The Economist Intelligence Unit, which is a sister organization of The Economist magazine, is not infallible.
He said the London-based paper predicted Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in 2019.