Ripples as TY Danjuma Calls for Self-defence over Military Bias in Herdsmen Killings

Widespread reactions have greeted the call for self-defence by Gen Theophilus Danjuma (Rtd) in the wake of brutal attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen across the country.

Danjuma, a former chief of army staff, said on Saturday at the maiden convocation ceremony of the Taraba State University, Jalingo that Nigerians are being killed at an alarming rate but the armed forces could not curb the bloodshed because they are also involved in it.

“The armed forces are not neutral,” he said.

“They collude with the armed bandits to kill people, kill Nigerians.”

The former defence minister said the time is now for Nigerians to rise up and defend themselves from the killings.

Mr. Danjuma said unchecked violence is shifting Nigeria towards Somalia, a country that has been in a state of war since 19991.

In a swift reaction, the Nigerian government and the Nigerian Army have dismissed the allegations by Danjuma, saying such calls are inflammatory and should be disregarded.

“This is highly uncalled for and is invitation to anarchy and should be disregarded by well-meaning Nigerians,” Tukur Gusau, a spokesperson for the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, said in a statement Saturday night.

Similarly, Army described Danjuma’s claims as unfair and sad coming at a time of intense military efforts to address the crisis.

Mr. Danjuma is not the first leader to pointedly accuse the military of knowing about the attacks after Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State repeatedly said the federal government, especially the security forces, knew where the attackers were hiding and their movements, but deliberately looked the other way.

Also, two former rulers, Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida, in open letters earlier this year flayed the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for his poor handling of the polity and the wanton killings by alleged Fulani herdsmen.

Danjuma’s bombshell comes as another heavy blow to government, and Nigerians on social media have been weighing in on the subject…

 

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