The Oasis Reporters
February 20, 2021
By Col. Gora Albehu Dauda (rtd)
…so the overstretched Nigerian Military can adequately confront, deal with the Boko Haram Insurgency in the North East
No one really needed to wait for this long to know that our beleaguered nation was going to get to the point of being advised or warned that citizens should defend themselves in the face of this unending and ever increasing insecure climate in Nigeria.
The Defence Minister Maj Gen (rtd) Bashir Magashi has just recently recommended or advised our countrymen and women not to be cowards in the face of attacks by bandits, but to confront them by defending themselves.
The attacks have been so widespread that no part of the country is currently safe.
Could the Defence Minister be finally admitting that the nation’s defence architecture has failed to defend the nation and so is prescribing a resort to SELF HELP?
When asked if he was suggesting that our defenceless population should bear arms with which to defend themselves the Minister quipped over the answer and never suggested by what means Nigerians could stand up against the imported foreign armed bandits/terrorists and or jihadists.
Here are the Defence minister’s exact words as captured and reported by Liberty News:
”Nigerians shouldn’t be cowards, they should confront the bandits wreaking havoc in the country”.
The Minister is technically recommending or advising our countrymen and women to commit suicide by coming out to confront heavily armed bandits. He admitted that the Nigerian Military alone cannot protect everyone of us.
Could the Minister also be suggesting that the primary role and responsibility of the Nigerian Military as outlined in the 1999 Constitution as amended be tinkered with to give the rest of us an additional responsibility aside remaining as LOYAL CITIZENS?
The comment were allegedly made at the sidelines of the screening of the newly appointed Service Chiefs. From the Minister’s comments distills many questions, the most important of which is why it had to take this long before so advising the nation.
Another is what informed government’s panic measure in ordering the Nigeria Police to revoke licenses of firearms for either hunting of self defence purposes from a population under constant threats of death at the hands of so-called bandits?
Did this measure not further expose many Nigerians to the dangers of being victims of attacks by the bandits?
The Defence Minister can call those responsible for the insecurity by whatever name he chooses but we know that they are terrorists and ought ab initio, to have been so designated and therefore treated as such.
The truth remains that had Nigerians received this sermon much earlier, many would not now be in the bowels of mother earth which clearly points to the fact that the nation’s leadership failed them. For those, we continue to mourn may the souls of their loved ones continue to rest, Amen.
For many folks who understood that self defence is a right which is God given, they did not have to wait for the helmsman in the Defence Ministry to deliver this belated epistle.
Politicians may not very well understand the implications of a broken down security environment as would the Generals whose mainstay is the management of violence, including war.
General TY Danjuma (rtd ) foresaw what was to come when he advised Nigerians early enough to be prepared to defend themselves against the so-called bandits but who in actual fact are Islamist Jihadists deliberately imported to change the demographics and political balance in Nigeria.
After Gen Danjuma had so spoken, he was called every despicable name but here we are today after we have lost loved ones. By every standard, Gen TY Danjuma is not on the same parallel as many of the characters who came after him in the Service who were largely paper tigers or at best lame Generals who could not bring whatever little weight they had left in their sinew towards saving the nation from her current travails.
This nation came down this slippery slope because politicians put their self interests first well above the national interest. The insecurity was first calibrated to appear as if it was a jihad or put simply against Christians and so nobody spoke against it when it all started.
Churches, other places of worship, homes and business premises belonging to Christians were targeted and destroyed.
The President pretended nether to have seen nor heard what was happening in the country to which he is president but now the dynamics have changed since the terrorists do not now distinguish between Christians and Muslims as all are legitimate targets.
It is so tragic that the nation’s leadership had to wait until some parts of the country began taking steps to secure their population against the attacks that is now evident they are recovering from the slumber .
The South West came up with Amotekun, the South East similarly has set up an internal security outfit. The conservative North being the epicenter of the insecurity prevaricated over setting up what they called Shege Kafasa.
I have a candid advice for the Middle Belt Region to which I belong, quickly come up with an internal security outfit similar to those already mentioned to protect the region from any aggression be that from the terrorists or jihadists. This way the overstretched Nigerian Military can adequately confront and deal with the Boko Haram Insurgency in the North East.
I must now relate the Defence Minister’s recent and very portent statement to the travails of the Southern Kaduna people particularly the Atyap of Zangon Kataf, the Adara in Kajuru, Communities in Kaura LGAs and lately the Gbagi in Chukun. These communities have borne the brunt of the senseless attacks whilst the Kaduna State government played politics with the lives of the population in those communities.
In Zangon Kataf and Kaura LGAs when the attacks started and as if to help out the attackers, the Kaduna State government imposed a deadly curfew which many observers believed was designed to box the population in so as to make them sitting ducks to the jihadists.
It was around this time that Gen TY Danjuma’s timely advice was put out but our people still deluded themselves that the Federal might would come to bear as to ensuring their safety.
How wrong they were because the mindless killings continued and nobody cared. Today we have mass graves in many locations in Kaduna State as evidence of a genocide having been systematically and very efficiently executed.
To those interred in the mass graves, the Defence Minister’s call on people to defend themselves in the face of attacks by so-called bandits and I add by whoever else came rather too late to save them.
Out of frustration my people in Atyap Chiefdom initiated peace and reconciliation meetings with some individuals claiming to be speaking for the killer Fulani but the killings did not stop.
For emphasis it is absurd for the victims to initiate peace and reconciliation with those waging an unjust aggression against them but this was done and it appears this path was taken to impress the State government who for all intents and purposes cannot exculpate itself of complicity in the unending insecurity saga.
It has been said before and I repeat that the illegal Fulani settlement in Zangon Kataf LGA called Laduga became a sanctuary and operational base for the killer Fulani from which several attacks were launched against nearby villages in the area.
It is to this fortress that the killer Fulani usually retire to after an operation. The most rational thing the Atyap leadership ought to have requested would have been for a secret cordon and search operation in and around Laduga to recover the arsenals held there. Let me venture to say that had such a request been made, it would have not received any positive outcome since the killers have a golden haired Angel watching over them in Sir Kashim Ibrahim House and perhaps in Aso Rock.
For the benefit of the Atyap and other communities who have been subjected to the attacks, if you did not hear from Gen TY Danjuma, you have now heard from Nigeria’s sitting Defence Minister and the message couldn’t be clearer,
”Defend yourselves when attacked by bandits ”.
Let me add that as you so defend yourself, do so decisively. The maxim that it is iron that sharpeneth iron should be instructive here. If you do not heed this warning, you will only have yourself to blame.
We appreciate the Defence Minister for finally advising Nigerians on what to do instead of behaving cowardly in the face of an attack by whoever.
To God Be The Glory.