On Sunday, August 15, the Taliban swept into Afghanistan’s capital after the government collapsed. This was followed by heavily arm€d Taliban fight€rs who fanned out across the capital, and several entered Kabul’s abandoned presidential palace.
The President of Afghan, Ashraf Ghani is reported to have fled the country on Sunday as the Taliban advanced further into the capital Kabul. Shortly after the Taliban fighters entered Kabul, they demanded the unconditional surrender of the central government.
As more reactions are pouring in over how similar the situation in Afghanistan might be to Nigeria, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration should be given kudos.
Footage on social media showed the militants celebrating as they took over the Bagram Airbase which happens to be the heavily fortified military base that has housed US troops for the past twenty years. In some photos that made it to social media, the militants were spotted in the presidential palace, beaming with smiles, while another set of militants posed in the conference room used by the president while he ruled.
Another disturbing footage on social media showed thousands of the Afghan citizens scrambling to get out of the country’s capital amid fears that the militants could reimpose a brutal rule that eliminated women and minority rights when they last held power.
Lai Mohammed who spoke with NAN after the Taliban take-over noted that kudos should be given to the Nigerian government. According to the minister, the development in Afghanistan had proven right the position of President Buhari that when fighting an unconventional war, the country had to be resourceful.
“If what happened in Afghanistan is something to go by, then the federal government should be given kudos for the way it has handled insurgency in the last couple of years”, he said.
It appears that the lessons from Afghanistan today is that for over 20 years of American intervention and over a trillion dollar spent and thousands of American lives lost, it took the Taliban just few weeks to recapture Afghanistan.
“This should be a lesson for everybody that when you are fighting an insurgency or movement driven by ideology, it is always difficult to overcome and you must be resourceful, deploying both kinetic and non-kinetic approach”, he also said.
He went further to buttress that, “when people were saying we should invite mercenaries, the President was focused and maintained that our military have what it takes. The President should be given kudos for believing in our military and deploying both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches.”
Lai Mohammed who is in Washington DC emphasised that Nigeria is not a failed state and cannot go the way of Afghanistan. The minister said that the insinuation in certain quarter that the security situation in Nigeria could degenerate to that of Afghanistan was not correct.
He emphasised that Nigeria is winning the war against terror and the country cannot go the way of Afghanistan where Taliban, a t€rrorist group took over power. He also said that Nigeria is not at war, adding that fake news and disinformation was being used to portray the country in precarious situation.
“Nigeria is not and will not be a failed state. Yes, we have challenges in some corners of the country but that has not made Nigeria a failed state. A failed state is one where basic facilities are not available and everything has broken down but, Nigeria is not in that stage”, he said.
Still speaking, Lai Mohammed said while a lot of efforts had been put on kinetic approach, the Nigerian military also engaged in non-kinetic approach, building hospitals, reviving schools, teaching in some of the schools and delivering medical cares to the people in affected areas.
He explained that the non-kinetic approach applied by the Buhari’s government to fighting insurgency in the North-East, had led to droves of insurgents coming out to surrender arms and pledge their loyalty to the government. He noted that with the recent development of many Boko Haram coming out voluntarily to surrender their arms, the country is winning the war against insurgency.