The Federal Government says for anyone to declare Nigeria a failed state on the basis of its security challenges, is “preposterous.’’
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this in response to a recent declaration by the Council on Foreign Affairs (CFA) in the United States that “Nigeria is at a point of no return with all the signs of a failed nation.’’
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja, the Minister stressed that “Nigeria is not and cannot be a failed state.’’
Mohammed said the declaration by the Council did not represent an official US policy.
“This declaration is merely the opinions of two persons, former US 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,’’ he said.
“Yes, the Council on Foreign Relations is a prominent U.S. public policy Think Tank, but its opinion is not that of the U.S.
“Like former U.S. Senator Daniel Moynihan said, ”You are entitled to your opinion but not your facts”.
Mohammed reiterated that Nigeria did not meet the criteria for a nation to become a failed state.
He listed the criteria to include inability to provide public service and inability 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,’’ he said.
The minister 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,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the declaration by CFA that Nigeria was a failed state and would eventually collapsed was contained in a research finding recently released through Campbell and Rotberg.