Afenifere says defence minister’s comment shows Buhari has failed

Afenifere says Buhari's government is pushing people to that level where they may have to seek justice on their own.

President Muhammadu Buhari [Presidency]

The group’s National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin in an interview with Punch on Thursday, February 18, 2021, said the President has failed in its constitutional responsibility to protect the lives and properties of citizens.

Magashi had on Wednesday had told Nigerians not to be cowards, saying it is the responsibility of every citizen to be alert and defend themselves against bandits terrorising their communities.

The controversial comment thereafter sparked outrage on social media as many Nigerians criticised the minister, while others asked the federal government to license citizens to bear arms to confront criminals.

Reacting to the statement, Odumakin said, “The comment of the defence minister shows that Buhari has failed. Are we supposed to defend ourselves with bare hands when they (criminals) are with guns? Only Fulani herdsmen are carrying AK-47 all over Nigeria today and you are asking us to defend ourselves with bare hands against AK-47?

“The token from that statement is that we (Buhari regime) have failed, we can no longer defend you. That was what he (Magashi) was telling us.

“Any attempt to seek ethnic justice most times lead to genocide. That is why we have refrained, and cautioned against people seeking ethnic justice. But with the way Buhari is going, he is pushing people to that level where they may have to seek justice on their own.

“There is nothing like farmer-herder clashes, it is a lie by the Buhari government. What we have is herders’ terrorism against farmers. You send your wife to the farm, they waylay her and rape her, and say it is a clash. What clash is in that? The word, ‘clash’ is from the Federal Government, it is from Aso Rock, it is a lie from the pit of hell. What we are having is terrorising by the Fulani herdsmen.”

Earlier on Thursday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had demanded the sacking of Magashi for asking Nigerians to defend themselves against bandits.

The party said the minister’s statement emboldened bandits, terrorists and kidnappers to escalate their acts atrocities against citizens.

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