10 lessons Nigeria should learn from the latest Taliban victory

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Taliban fighters took control of the Afganistan capital city, Kabul on Sunday, delivering the militant Islamist group the prize it has long sought: authority over all of Afghanistan as the Western-backed government collapsed, President Ashraf Ghani fled, and the long-dominant American presence appeared to be coming to an abrupt and chaotic end after nearly 20 years.

Here are 10 lessons Nigeria should learn from the latest Taliban victor:

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.

  1. In the 1970s and 80s, Afghanistan was a very secular country. Under President Mohammed Najibullah, they were no different from say Pakistan or India. It was the US backing of the Mujahadeen that gave rise to fundamentalism in Afghanistan
  2. When secular organs of government do not work, people swing towards religion as a default position
  3. When religious bodies start attracting mass followings, you have to negotiate with them before they take up arms
  4. Secession is never a solution to socio-economic woes. Afghanistan is not part of Pakistan, Uzbekistan or Tajikistan but its problems remained
  5. Western nations have got to start investing in poor countries if they want to avoid the rise of fundamentalism. If Afghanistan was receiving say $10bn a year in foreign direct investment, the Taliban would not have found fertile ground for its propaganda
  6. Donald Trump’s isolationist policy has brought this problem to the rest of the world. He abandoned the engagement policy of the Obama era, released the current Taliban leader from detention, withdrew US troops and told the Afghans he wants nothing to do with their wahala
  7. Boko Haram and ISWAP will be emboldened by this victory. Nigerians should brace themselves for tough times in the coming years
  8. Our biggest headache now is that Afghanistan will become a global training camp for all forms of Islamic extremists and terrorists. Nigeria as a nation needs to equip itself to bomb such camps if need be. It is time we started manufacturing aircraft carriers and B-52 bombers
  9. No doubt, the secular forces of Afghanistan will regroup and mount a fightback but they are in for another long messy war. Let this be a warning that when you start a war, it can last for decades
  10. We now need to surround Borno State with troops, offer free education to every kid there, open factories in every urban centre there and turn it into an industrial zone. Otherwise, it will become the Taliban African outpost
Written by:
Ayo Akinfe, born in Salford, Manchester, is a London-based journalist who has worked as a magazine and newspaper editor for the last 20 years. Ayo attended Federal Government College Kaduna and obtained his first degree in history from the University of Ibadan.
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