Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has proudly declared that Nigeria is winning the war against Boko Haram and other terrorists.
Citing the example of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Mohammed noted that ideological wars are not easy to fight and win but Nigeria is definitely having the upper hand and progress is being made.
He debunked claims that Nigeria is becoming a failed state due to the activities of bandits, kidnappers, and other criminals, submitting that some of the terrorists have been submitting to government troops.
According to him, the government is fully in charge and it would be totally wrong to tag Nigeria as a failed state.
“A failed state is a state where you have general paralysis everywhere,” he said on a BBC programme, ‘Focus on Africa.’
“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.”
Mohammed declared that though the government and the military may not receive due credit for levels of improvement and pushing back the criminals, he knows that a lot has been achieved since the current administration took over power in 2015.
According to him, while the terrorists controlled large areas of the country prior to 2015 when Muhammadu Buhari became the President of Nigeria, currently, the terrorists have been boxed to a corner and their operations limited.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
When challenged to support his claim with facts, Mohammed said the evidence is clear with the number of terrorists surrendering to the soldiers with their families on a daily basis.
“The evidence of that is the number of insurgents that are now surrendering and they are surrendering not only their weapons, they are coming also with their relations and their families,” he noted.
On why some of those kidnapped by Boko Haram have not been released despite the claims of winning the war against insurgency, Lai Mohammed declared that it’s just a matter of time.
“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 north-east 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 said.
As earlier reported by Naija News, Lai Mohammed has confirmed his visit to the USA but denied having any mission to negotiate with Twitter while in America.