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TY Danjuma Defence minister slams ex army chief, says comment was reckless

Defence minister Mansur Dan-Ali says Danjuma's directive to the people of Taraba was a call to anarchy.

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Pulse Opinion: Minister of Defence, Dan-Ali, needs to stop defending killer herdsmen play Defence minister Mansur Dan-Ali (The Nation)

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali, has taken on former Chief of Army Staff Theophilus Danjuma who called on the people of Taraba to defend themselves in the face of incessant attacks by killer herdsmen.

Speaking during a convocation ceremony of the Taraba State University which held on Saturday, March 24, 2018, Danjuma said the army has been far from neutral in the battle against the herdsmen; who have been on a killing spree across Nigeria.

“The armed forces are not neutral, they collude with the armed bandits.  They facilitate their movement; they cover them.  We must resist it, we must stop it. Everyone of us must rise.

“If you are depending on the armed forces to stop the killings, you will die one by one.  This ethnic cleansing must stop in Taraba State. It must stop in all the states of Nigeria, otherwise Somalia would be a child’s play,” Danjuma had said.

Anarchy

However, Defence Minister Muhammed Dan-Ali says Danjuma’s call to arms was an invitation to anarchy.

“A recent comment by one of the nation’s elder statesman, alleging that the Nigerian military colludes with bandits to kill people and, therefore, calling on them to rise and defend themselves outside constitutional provisions, is highly uncalled for and is an invitation to anarchy and should be disregarded by well-meaning Nigerians”, the Defence minister said in a statement.

“The efforts of the Nigerian Armed Forces towards restoration of peace, security and order in Nigeria continue to receive appreciation for changing the security environment from what it was before.

“The Nigerian Armed Forces is well organized and highly professional in discharging its constitutional mandate. 

“Therefore, if anyone has evidence of wrongdoings or dereliction of duty against our troops, he should please bring forward such evidence through appropriate channels for necessary action.

“For avoidance of doubt, the military will not be distracted from performing its statutory duties in accordance with the rules of engagement.”

Unfortunate

The Nigerian army also referred to Danjuma’s comments as unfortunate.

“The Nigerian Army views this statement made by the former Chief of Army Staff as most unfortunate at this critical time that the military has embarked upon demilitarisation of the North Central Region of the country”, a statement from the army read.

Nigeria has been waging a war against herdsmen fingered for a spate of killings in Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Taraba and Kaduna.

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