Ethnic Cleansing: Army responds to Theophilus Danjuma, denies accusation
Theophilus Danjuma, a former minister of defence, has asked Nigerians to defend themselves against killers. Danajuma said this on Saturday while speaking at the maiden convocation of Taraba State University. He said the army and other security agencies colluded with killers to attack Nigerians.
The retired general accused the army of “bias”, saying it has failed in its responsibility of securing the country from attacks.
“The armed forces are not neutral. They collude with the armed bandits. They kill people, kill Nigerians. They facilitate their movements, they cover them,” Danjuma said. “If you depend on the armed forces to stop the killings you will all die one by one.”
“The ethnic cleansing must stop in Taraba state, must stop in all the states of Nigeria. “I ask everyone one of you to be alert and defend your territory, your state. You have nowhere else to go.”
The former minister said the killings in the country must stop, or else “Somalia will be a child’s play”.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has reacted to this statements. Read the press release below;
The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to the unfortunate statement made by a former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, during the convocation ceremony of the Taraba State University on Saturday 24 March 2018 in which he categorically asserted that the Armed Forces of Nigeria was colluding with militias and other criminal elements and was unable to provide security for the citizens of Taraba State. He further called the people of Taraba State to take up arms and defend themselves. 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.
While Nigerian Army would not want to join issues with the Elder Statesman, however, certain facts need to be clearly stated in the interest of the Taraba People and the Nigerian public:
The Nigerian Army is constitutionally charged with the responsibility of defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria and to aid the civil authority whenever called upon to do so. In this light, the authorisation for the conduct of Ex AYEM AKPATUMA was authorised and troops deployed to curb menace of the herdsmen-farmers conflict and other criminal activities in the North Central Region amongst others.
It is on record that the successes so far achieved in Ex AYEM AKPATUMA have been recognised and accepted by Nigerians.
The public is notified that Nigerian Army personnel have had to pay the supreme price for ensuring the sustenance of security in Taraba State. For instance, a gallant non-commission officer of the Nigerian Army was beheaded on 16 March 2018 in Takum Taraba State by criminal elements.
It is noteworthy to state that at the inception of Ex AYEM AKPATUMA, the Taraba State Government, did not cooperate with the Nigerian Army due to the Army’s stance to remain absolutely neutral in the herdsmen-farmers crisis. The Nigerian Army will continue to remain as such.
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