The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government should actually be celebrated for victories so far recorded against insurgency.
The Minister countered insinuations in some quarters that the security situation in Nigeria could degenerate to the level of Afghanistan.
According to him, such insinuations are not correct, adding that the country cannot go the way of Afghanistan where the Taliban terrorist group has taken over the reins of power.
Naija News reports that Mohammed state this in Washington DC during his engagements with international media organisations including BBC Radio and Television, Bloomberg and Politico.
Mohammed, who is in the U.S. to meet with international media organisations, defended the achievements of his principal and efforts made so far by the Buhari administration in tackling insurgency, banditry and all forms of criminality in the country.
Again, Mohammed said Buhari should be given kudos for believing in the Nigerian military and deploying both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches in fighting insurgency across the states.
He said: “When people were saying we should invite mercenaries, the president was focused and maintained that our military has what it takes.”
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria after his respective meeting with the media organisations in the US, Mohammed stressed that Nigeria is winning the war against terror and the country cannot go the way of Afghanistan.
The Minister 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.
Mohammed said Nigeria is not at war, adding that fake news and disinformation was being used to portray the country in a precarious situation. According to him, 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 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.
According to Mohammed, bandits are now suffering more casualties than ever before.
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 lessons from Afghanistan today is that for over 20 years of American intervention and over a trillion dollars 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.”
The minister stressed further that while a lot of efforts had been put on the kinetic approach, the Nigerian military also engaged in a non-kinetic approach, building hospitals, reviving schools, teaching in some of the schools and delivering medical care to the people in affected areas.
According to him, the non-kinetic approach to the fighting insurgency in the North-East had led to droves of insurgents coming out to surrender arms and pledge their loyalty to the government.
Mohammed was optimistic that the delivery of the Super Tucano military platforms by the US to the military would be a game-changer in the fight against insurgency in the country.