The opposition Peoples Democratic Party PDP has called for the quick relief of duty of the Minister of Defense, Major General Bashir Magashi, to ask unarmed Nigerians to defend themselves against armed aggression by bandits and terrorists.
The defence minister who spoke to journalists while security forces embarked on a mission to rescue 42 people kidnapped from a boarding school within the week has urged Nigerians not to “be cowards” and stand up to armed bandits. He said, “We shouldn’t be cowards.”
“I don’t know why people are running away from minor, minor, things like that”. “They should stand. Let these people know that even the villagers have the competence and capability to defend themselves.”
The party had reacted to the statement, describing it as reckless, irresponsible, and proof that the Buhari led administration has given itself to outlaws and has no intention to fight them.
According to the party, “It is unthinkable that a government would describe unarmed victims of armed aggression of terrorists and bandits as “cowards” while those who were elected and given the necessary resources to defend them recede in the comfort and safety of their offices in Abuja.
“Such disposition to security, a statutory responsibility of government, goes to validate apprehensions that our nation is indeed descending to a failed state under the Buhari Presidency, where the government can no longer perform its duties while unarmed citizens are left to confront bandits and warlords.
“Given the silence by the Buhari Presidency, our party holds that the defeatist comment by the minister represents the disposition of President Muhammadu Buhari and his security architecture and explains why the administration has remained complacent in the fight against terrorism and banditry in our country”.
The party noted further that the Buhari led administration should step up its security strategies to end the menace and protect citizens in the country at a time like this.
“Moreover, with such disposition, the Buhari administration is creating a lucrative job for bandits, terrorists, and kidnappers who are settled with huge ransom instead of being faced with firepower.
“Our party, however, urges Nigerians not to despair at this moment but brace up as it has become obvious that we are now in a despondent situation where the government has shown that it can no longer defend the citizens”.