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Nigeria Not A Failing State – Lai Mohammed

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Nigeria Not A Failing State – Lai Mohammed
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government says contrary to the position of some “jaundiced analysts and their lapdogs,’’ Nigeria is not a failing or 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.

Read Also: Obasanjo: Disunity Is Nigeria’s Main Problem

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 a 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 schoolboys 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.

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Daily Headline News (Friday, 3-12-2021)

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BREAKING: Comedian Cute Abiola Regains Freedom From Navy

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BREAKING: Comedian Cute Abiola Regains Freedom From Navy

Popular comedian Abdulgafar Ahmad, who’s otherwise known as Cute Abiola, has regained his freedom from the Nigerian Navy after spending 21 days in detention.

Cute Abiola was said to have been missing on Monday, November 15, 2021, when his colleague in the comedy industry, Debo Adedayo aka Mr Macaroni, raised the alarm that he was nowhere to be found after reporting at his office in Navy Town, Lagos, that same day.

Two days after the alarm was raised, Naval spokesperson, Commodore Suleman Dahun had announced that the funnyman wasn’t missing but was detained for contravening the military laws by posting a video of himself in military uniform on social media, an act which is said to be in violation of the armed forces’ social media policy.

Dahun had also added that the comedian failed to show up when called upon to explain himself but only returned after the expiration of his leave on November 15, 2021, and was put behind bars the same day.

Giving an update on the comedian’s situation, the naval spokesman maintained that Cute Abiola knowingly violated the armed forces’ social media policy but was given a punishment after he was tried for misconduct and indiscipline.

He added that the funnyman is no longer in the naval detention as he has been released to serve his punishment.

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Omicron: State Govts Resume Testing, Demand Funds

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Omicron: State Govts Resume Testing, Demand Funds

State governments have said they will resume and increase mass testing for COVID-19 following the detection of the Omicron variant of the virus in the country.

Top government officials in states including Cross River, Benue, Delta, and Akwa Ibom who disclosed this in separate interviews, however, described the funding as a major obstacle to community testing. They sought the assistance of the Federal Government on funding community testing, particularly the running of molecular laboratories.

The states made the demand as the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the new variant had spread to 23 countries.

Canada had on Sunday, November 28, 2021, detected the Omicron variant in two travellers, who recently visited Nigeria. On Tuesday, November 30, the North American included Nigeria, Egypt, and Malawi in its travel ban list.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday, December 1, announced the discovery of cases of the Omicron variant in three persons with travel history to South Africa.

It said contact tracing on the cases had started, adding that the affected persons were in isolation.

But virologists expressed fear that the strain was already circulating in the country, but could not be detected because most states had stopped community testing.

On Thursday, December 2, Cross River State said it had begun community testing in the wake of  the discovery of the Omicron variant.The state Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu, disclosed this to one of our correspondents on  in Calabar.

She stated, “We have already resumed community sample collection and massive vaccination. However, vaccine hesitancy and high cost of running molecular laboratories have been part of our challenges.

She added that the state had already requested the Federal Government’s assistance in that regard.

Also, the Benue State Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Professor Joseph Ngbea, said that the state had stepped up the testing rate.

The commissioner,  who spoke on the matter said that the state action committee on COVID 19 had evolved a new strategy to test people following the discovery of the new variant.

He explained that the state had continued to fund the COVID19 committee, which had started going to churches, mosques, schools, and internally displaced persons’ camps to conduct the test. He said, “We have stepped up testing capacity of people for COVID 19 in  Benue and we are very high now. We target  schools and churches and some people who want to be tested do send for us and we do meet them and get them tested.”

He called on the Federal Government to increase the budget for research to be able to tackle the spread of COVID -19.

The Delta State Government, on its part said it would resume testing immediately to check the spread of the Omicron variant.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. More Ononye, stated this in an interview with The PUNCH on Thursday in Asaba. He said, “We will resume testing because it is proper that we maintain the tempo in curtailing the spread.

For a long time now, people have stopped observing the COVID-19 protocols but with this, it is a wake-up call to everybody especially this Christmas season.

So we are advising communities to wake up for the use of all these interventions. We are doing more sensitisation for people to get vaccinated because there is a lot of complacency.”

Ononye said the state was expecting technical and other forms of assistance from the Federal Government to stop the spread of the virus.

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