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Insecurity only “in one corner of Nigeria” – Lai Mohammed (Really?)

Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, has said Nigeria cannot be labelled a failed state because insecurity is only in “one corner of our country.”

Lai Mohammed stated this in a recent interview with BBC’s ‘Focus on Africa’.

According to the minister, insecurity is only in North-East and it’s caused by an ideologically driven terrorist group known as Boko Haram.

He added that the present administration, however, has “pinned” Boko Haram to a “very small area”.

Lai Mohammed said:

“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.”

When asked to back the claim with facts, Lai Mohammed said:

“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.”

When asked why schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram have not been released despite the success he said the government has achieved, Lai Mohammed 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.”

Lai Mohammed also insisted that in spite of the challenges, Nigeria is “winning this war” and not a failed state.

“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.”

When challenged that the facts state that insecurity is everywhere in Nigeria, Lai Mohammed said;

“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.”

-PM News

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