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Insecurity: Nigeria can never be a failing state, says Lai Mohammed

By Oluwaseun Sonde

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that some jaundiced analysts and their lapdogs have sought to portray Nigeria as a failing state, on the strength of its security challenges, adding that these analysts are dead wrong, as Nigeria is not and cannot be a failing or failed state.

The Minister disclosed this at the Press Conference in Lagos on Monday, while noted that Nigeria has made tremendous progress in tackling bandits and the terrorists of Boko Haram, even despite the antics of those who have constituted themselves to another ‘fighting force’ against the country.

According to him, “You would remember that for the past two decades or so, some pseudo-analysts have been predicting the country’s implosion. That has not happened, hence they have found a new tag line: failing or failed state! It’s all a ruse aimed at depicting Nigeria as being in a constant state of anarchy, just so they can achieve their nefarious objectives for the country.

“If Nigeria was not a ‘failing’ state when a large slice of its territory equivalent to the size of Belgium was under the occupation of Boko Haram, which collected taxes, installed and deposed emirs, is it now that no territory is under the terrorists that Nigeria will be a failing state?

“If Nigeria was not a failed state when bombs were raining on towns and cities in Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Borno, Yobe, FCT and other states, is it now that such bombings have stopped that Nigeria will be described as a ‘failing’ state?

“If Nigeria was not a ‘failing’ state in those years that Christian and Muslim worshippers had to be screened to even enter their places of worship, is it now that the siege on places of worship has ceased that Nigeria will be described as a ‘failing’ state?”.

Alhaji Lai added that Nigeria is fending off attacks on many fronts, not just from terrorists and bandits, but also from some human rights organizations and the International Criminal Court (ICC) which seem to have colluded to exacerbate the challenges facing the country in the area of security.

“As security agencies continue to battle these bandits and terrorists, the ICC and some international human rights organizations, especially Amnesty International, have constituted themselves to another ‘fighting force’ against Nigeria, constantly harassing our security forces and threatening them with investigation and possible prosecution over alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes”, he said.

He stated that some section of the local media has been parroting these organizations without weighing the impact of their constant threats on the security of the nation. “The federal government frowns at this unbridled attempt to demoralize our security men and women as they confront the onslaught from bandits and terrorists.

“Nigeria did not join the ICC so it can become a pawn on the court’s chessboard. It beggars belief to see that a nation that is fighting an existential war against bandits and terrorists is constantly being held down by an international body which it willingly joined.

“Nigeria is a sovereign state and will not surrender its sovereignty to any organization. ICC, Amnesty International and their cohorts should desist from threatening our troops and putting the security of our country in jeopardy. Enough is enough”, he said.

He mentioned some instances on the state of insecurity in Nigeria in the past years that will put things in a better perspective . “Thanks to our security agencies, we have just celebrated another Christmas and New Year without a rain of bombs. Few would remember that in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Christmas eve or Christmas Day attacks left hundreds dead or
injured.

“What about the attack on the UN Complex in Abuja in August 2011; the bombing of media houses in Abuja and Kaduna in April 2012 and the killing of about 40 students in Mubi, Adamawa State, in October 2012? Have we forgotten that over 80 towns and villages were attacked andrazed, with casualties, by Boko Haram in Borno State alone?

“Have we forgotten the constant attacks on military and security formations like Giwa Barracks (Maiduguri), Mohammed Kur Barracks (Bama), Monguno Barracks (Monguno), Airforce Base (Maiduguri), New Prison (Maiduguri) and numerous police stations? The fact that these attacks and bombings have stopped is a testimony to the progress we have made in tackling terrorism which, by the way, is not like conventional warfare. The stoppage of the attacks didn’t happen by accident.

It is therefore mischievous for anyone to discountenance the progress we have made in tackling insecurity, in building and upgrading infrastructure and in diversifying the economy, among others. The federal government rejects this characterization of Nigeria as a ‘failing’ state, which is a combination of the wishful thinking of naysayers and the evil machinations of those who don’t wish Nigeria well.

Alhaji Lai boasted that federal government has sustained the fight against terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements across the country especially in the North East and the North West Regions.

“The recent swift response and rescue of the 344 kidnapped Kankara schools boys in Katsina State from bandits attest to this. President Muhammad Buhari has continued to provide all the necessary platforms on land, air and sea to support the fight against criminals and terrorists in the country”, he said.





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