Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says Nigeria is not a failed state and cannot go the way of Afghanistan where the Taliban has taken over governance of the country.
He made the statement in Washington DC while he was addressing media correspondents from BBC, Bloomberg, and Portico.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the minister is currently in the United States of America to meet with international media organisations and think tanks, to discuss the achievements of the Buhari-led government, and also to discuss the steps the country is taking in putting an end to banditry, insurgency, and criminality.
In a meeting with NAN, after his meeting with the three international media organisations, the minister denounced the speculations that Nigeria could end up like Afghanistan. He stressed that the speculations that the security situation in Nigeria would get worse are wrong.
He added that the war Nigeria is waging against terrorism is being won and that the country cannot follow the way of Afghanistan, where the terrorist group (Taliban) has taken over.
He is quoted to have said, “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.
The minister in his statement 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.
He said, “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 lesson 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 a 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 approaches.”
“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.
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, adding that Nigeria is winning the war against insurgency.
On banditry, the minister said bandits were now suffering more casualties than ever before.