The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has disclosed that Nigeria was not a failed state and cannot go the way of Afghanistan where terrorist group, Taliban, has taken over the rein of power and unseat democratically elected government through arms.
Mohammed also faulted insinuation in certain quarters that the security situation in Nigeria could degenerate to that of Afghanistan, adding that those spreading the rumours are enemies of the country bent on seeing the nation in turmoil.
He emphasised that Nigeria was winning the war against terror and the country cannot go the way of Afghanistan where Taliban, a terrorist group took over power and sacked elected officials and put citizens in duress across the nation.
The minister stated this in Washington DC during his engagements with international media organisations including the BBC Radio and Television, Bloomberg and Politico. Mohammed was in the U.S. to meet with international media organisations and think tanks on the achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and efforts made so far in tackling insurgency, banditry and all form of criminality.
Speaking with journalists after his respective meeting with the three media organisations, the minister admitted that though Nigeria was facing challenges, that does not meant the country had become a failed state.
According to him, Nigeria is not and will not be a failed state. Yes, we have challenges in some corners of the country but that has not made Nigeria a failed state.
“A failed state is one where basic facilities are not available and everything has broken down but, Nigeria is not in that stage,” he said.
Mohammed said that Nigeria was not at war, adding that fake news and disinformation was being used to portray the country in precarious situation. The minister noted that the development in Afghanistan, had proven right the position of President Buhari that when fighting an unconventional war, the country had to be resourceful
“If what happened in Afghanistan is something to go by, then the federal government should be given kudos for the way it has handled insurgency in the last couple of years. The lessons from Afghanistan today is that for over 20 years of American intervention and over a trillion dollar spent and thousands of American lives lost, it took the Taliban just few weeks to recapture Afghanistan.
“This should be a lesson for everybody that when you are fighting an insurgency or movement driven by ideology, it is always difficult to overcome and you must be resourceful, deploying both kinetic and non-kinetic approach.
“When people were saying we should invite mercenaries, the president was focused and maintained that our military have what it takes. The President should be given kudos for believing in our military and deploying both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches,” he said.
He said that while a lot of efforts had been put on kinetic approach, the Nigerian military also engaged in non-kinetic approach, building hospitals, reviving schools, teaching in some of the schools and delivering medical cares to the people in affected areas.
According to the minister, the non-kinetic approach to fighting insurgency in the North-East, had led to droves of insurgents coming out to surrender arms and pledge their loyalty to the government.
He noted that with the recent development of many Boko Haram coming out voluntarily to surrender their arms, the country is winning the war against insurgency.
Speaking on banditry, the minister said that bandits were now suffering more casualties than ever before. He assured that the delivery of the Super Tucano military planes by US to the military would be a game changer in the fight against banditry.