The Federal Government says contrary to the position of some “jaundiced analysts and their lapdogs,’’ Nigeria is not a failing or a failed state.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at a New Year media briefing in Lagos said the analysts were wrong in seeking to portray the country as a failing state due to its security challenges.
Mohammed, who stressed that the gloomy prediction would not come to pass, added that the country would rise to become a more respected member of the comity of nations.
“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 watchword – failing or failed state
“It’s all a ruse aimed at depicting Nigeria as being in a constant state of anarchy so they can achieve their nefarious objectives for the country,’’ he said.
Mohammed said notwithstanding the antics of the analysts who he said had constituted themselves into another ‘fighting force,’ the country had made tremendous progress in tackling bandits and Boko Haram terrorists.
He said, “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 needed 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?’’
Mohammed said it was sad that many people had forgotten where the country was in terms of the state of insecurity just a few years back.
The minister, however, thanked the security agencies for ensuring that Nigerians celebrated another Christmas and the new year without bombings.
He recalled that in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Christmas eve or Christmas Day attacks left hundreds dead or injured.
Mohammed also recalled 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, in October 2012.
He said the analysts had forgotten that over 80 towns and villages were attacked and razed, with casualties, by Boko Haram in Borno 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,’’ he said.
Mohammed said the government had sustained the fight against terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements across the country, especially in the North East and the North West regions.
He said the recent swift response and rescue of the 344 kidnapped Kankara school boys in Katsina State from bandits attested to the claim.
Mohammed said the president has continued to provide all the necessary platforms on land, air and sea to support the fight against criminals and terrorists in the country.
The minister said besides tackling insecurity headlong, the country had continued to make steady progress in many areas, including infrastructural development, agriculture and power.