Insecurity does not make Nigeria a failed state —Lai Mohammed

By AdvocateNews on 04/06/2021

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Lai Mohammed
Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government yesterday rejected the labelling of the country as a failed state by the United States Council of Foreign Relations (CFR).

It described such a verdict on Nigeria because of its security challenges as  “preposterous.’’

Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed spoke in an interview   with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)  in Abuja

Also yesterday, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu, dismissed the classification. He recalled that a Senior Fellow at the Council, John Campbell, had in the past made some negative predictions about Nigeria that never came to pass.

The CFR, in its May 30 report, titled:  “The giant of Africa is failing,” said  that “Nigeria is in big trouble  and  at a point of no return..’’

It wrote:  “ If a state’s first obligation to those it governs is to provide for their security and maintain a monopoly on the use of violence, then Nigeria has failed, even if some other aspects of the state still function. Criminals, separatists and Islamist insurgents increasingly threaten the government’s grip on power, as do rampant corruption, economic malaise, and rising poverty. “

Some failed states in Africa mentioned by the council, a non-profit think tank that specialises in U.S. foreign policy and International affairs are  the Central African Republic, Somalia, and South Sudan.

But Mohammed told NAN   that “Nigeria is not and cannot be a failed state.’’ He added that the CFR verdict.  did not represent official U.S. position.

He said: “This declaration is merely the opinions of two persons, former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria and a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations John Campbell, and the President Emeritus of World Peace Foundation, Robert Rotberg.

“Declaring any nation a failed state is not done at the whims and caprices of one or two persons, no matter their status.

“Just because Nigeria is facing security challenges, which we have acknowledged and which we are tackling, does not automatically make the country a failed state.

“Yes, the CFR  is a prominent U.S. public policy Think Tank, but its opinion is not that of the US.

“Like former U.S. Senator Daniel Moynihan said, ‘You are entitled to your opinion but not your facts.”’

The minister  reiterated that Nigeria did not meet the criteria for a nation to become a failed state.

He listed the criteria to include the inability to provide public service and  to interact with other states as a full member of the international community.

“Yes, the non-state actors may be rampaging in some parts of the country, they have not and cannot overwhelm this government,’’ Mohammed boasted.

He  noted that it was not the first time it was predicted that Nigeria would fail or break up.

“We were even once told that Nigeria would break up in 2015. But their doomsday predictions have all failed and will fail again,’’ Mohammed said.

Shehu said Campbell had “consistently” been  proved wrong on his predictions that the country would collapse.

Shehu also recalled that   Campbell once distorted facts to suit an argument when he wrote in an article that President   Buhari requested that AFRICOM be moved to Nigeria.

The presidential aide said: “Ambassador Campbell has been predicting the collapse of Nigeria for several years. He is of course entitled to his opinions, even where events consistently prove him wrong. But facts should not be bent to support distorted opinions.”

Posted 04/06/2021 07:48:22 AM


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