A former Minister of Defence, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), has once again called on Nigerians to defend themselves and their lands against armed bandits who are trying to overrun the country.
Danjuma’s charge is coming as President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday told Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State that the federal government was ready to assist the state government with necessary funds to probe the recent herders-farmers clashes, which claimed some lives in the state.
Lamenting the current insecurity being witnessed across the country, Danjuma asked Nigerians to find out how bandits get arms so that they could have theirs for self-defence.
The former Chief of Army Staff had in a rare outburst in March 2018 raised the alarm that there was an attempt at ethnic cleansing in the country by herdsmen and asked Nigerians to rise to resist it.
Danjuma renewed the call for self-defence Saturday in Wukari in Taraba State during the coronation and presentation of Staff of Office to His Royal Majesty, Manu Ishaku Ada Ali, the 25th Aku Uka Wukari.
Ali was appointed the new Aku Uka in 2021 by Governor Darius Ishaku, following the demise of Dr. Shekarau Angyu who ruled for 45 years.
Danjuma alleged that the Armed Forces were probably unwilling to defend the country.
According to Danjuma, his earlier call on Nigerians to defend their land against armed foreign bandits was taken for granted, adding that the result was clear for everyone to see.
He said it was sad that Nigeria, the biggest black country in the world, is under siege by terrorists who are trying to root out the citizens.
“As a soldier, the best defence is to attack. Right now, we are all sitting ducks. These people are armed to the teeth with weapons of mass destruction but we don’t have them. We have the numbers and the land belongs to us. They are trying to colonise us and take over our lands. Your majesty, you must unite our people to defend themselves.
“I will not give you arms. Find out how the people who have it got it and use the same means to acquire arms and defend yourselves. This beautiful land called Nigeria is being brought to ruin by absolutely useless criminals. How do they get here? We know some of them may even be here. My prayer is that God Almighty that has given us this land will give us the courage to face these enemies and chase them out. This we must do, otherwise, Nigeria is finished.
“We must find out the source of the arms of terrorists; Nigerians should equally find a means of arming themselves to face the terrorists,” he said.
He said after his statement in 2018, a “Kangaroo panel” was set up by the military and he was invited to defend what he said but he refused to appear before the panel.
“In 2018 when I called on the people to defend themselves, a kangaroo commission of enquiry was set up to investigate and they said I was lying because there was no evidence.
“Today in the country, there is evidence everywhere; the foreign bandits are killing and taking over lands in all the places.
“The whole country now is being overrun and one very clear thing that is happening now is that these foreign invaders are destroying everything and our government allowed them to come into the country.
“My appeal to you the new Aku Uka is for you to unite us to be able to effectively defend ourselves against the enemies of the country,” Danjuma said.
Danjuma had in March 2018 raised the alarm that the Nigerian Armed Forces were colluding with armed bandits and charged Nigerians to rise and defend themselves before they were completely exterminated.
The former Minister of Defence, who spoke in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital at the maiden convocation ceremony of Taraba State University, said Nigerians must be alert to defend themselves and their country, pointedly accusing the military of complicity in the killing of farmers by herdsmen.