The federal government says the recent trend of Boko Haram terrorists surrending is evidence that it was winning the war against insurgency in the North-East region.
In recent weeks, members of the terror group in their thousands alongside their families have been laying down their arms to the Nigerian Army. Last week, over 180 members of the Boko Haram and Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) fighters surrendered.
While featuring on Focus Africa, a programme on British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, said the development is an indication that the government was winning the war against insurgency.
He said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has pinned down the group to a very smaller area and as such the country cannot be described as a failed state as was recently seen in Afghanistan.
“In the north-east, we are facing the challenge of the Boko Haram, which is purely an ideologically driven terrorist group,” the minister explained. “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,” he said.
Asked to support his claims with evidence, Mr Mohammed cited the recent surrending of the terrorists to Nigerian Army.
“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.
“A failed state is a state where you have general paralysis everywhere.
“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,” he added.