The Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said the fact that insurgents are surrendering to the Nigerian army shows that Nigeria is winning the war against insurgency. The Minister said this in a recent interview with BBC’s Focus on Africa.
According to the minister, “In the north-east, we are facing the challenge of the Boko Haram, which is purely an ideologically driven terrorist group. What is happening in Afghanistan presently is a good pointer. It shows that a movement driven by ideology is very difficult to overcome. The US, having spent 20 years, trillions of dollars, thousands of lives lost, it took the Taliban only a few weeks to come.
“This is what people should appreciate about fighting terrorism. The good news is that insurgents today are surrendering in droves and we are going after them. The truth of the matter is that the Nigerian government is winning the war against insurgents.
“The evidence of that is the number of insurgents that are now surrendering and they are not only surrendering their weapons but are also coming with their relations and their families.”
Reacting to the abducted schoolgirls, the minister said, “This thing takes time. Don’t forget that in 2015, Boko Haram controlled a swathe of land the size of Belgium. Don’t forget that in 2015, the entire northeast was a no-go area, where schools were closed, markets were closed, hospitals were closed but today we have pinned them to a very small area.”
He stated that Nigeria having challenges in one corner of the country doesn’t qualify it as a failed state.
He said, “A failed state is not a state where you have challenges only in one corner of the country. A failed state is a state where you have general paralysis everywhere.”
He also added, “I live in Nigeria, I work in Nigeria and I travel all around Nigeria and I can tell you Nigeria is not a failed state. I can tell you, yes we have challenges with banditry, we have challenges with separatist groups, it does not make this country, Nigeria, a failed state.
“If what is happening in the last few weeks is anything to go by, we are winning this war.”
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