- Amid the rising security chalenges, defence minister Bashir Magashi has asked Nigerians to defend themselves
- Magashi said security is the responsibility of everyone and not the security agencies alone
- The minister said Nigerians should not run away from minor attacks by criminals but stand up to them
Major General (rtd) Bashir Magashi, the minister of defence, has charged Nigerians to be courageous and stand up to the bandits staging attacks in various parts of the country.
He noted Nigerians have the responsibility to ensure there is adequate security around them.
“Well, is it the responsibility of the military alone? It is the responsibility of everybody to be alert and ensure safety when necessary.”
“We shouldn’t be cowards. Sometimes the bandits come with about three rounds of ammunition and when they fire shots, everybody will run. In our younger days, we stand to fight any form of aggression.
“Why should people run away from minor aggressions? We should stand and face them. If these people know that the people have the competence and capability to defend themselves, they will run away.”
He stated that he won't advise Nigeria to start issuing firearms for personal use.
Magashi's statement has drawn heated reactions from Nigerians on socia media.
Feranmi Ojo said on Facebook:
"Anarchy is looming here !!!
"This simply means the government is helpless and hopeless
"Close the borders in the north area, land and sea. Flush out foreigners causing troubles. Simple intelligence"
Jimoh Tajudeen Tunde said:
"It is only a madman who waits for a man with gun, soldiers have been kidnapped,.will you say they are lilly livered too???
"Let government increase police presence and personnel, community policing should be encouraged, small arms entry into the country should be checked and our porous borders should be managed."
Steve Nwabuko said:
"Nigeria at the brink. They were armed and we were disarmed. Now they want us to defend ourselves empty handed. What a contradiction and irony."
Mathias Ogundokun said:
"Those statements from Minister of Defence are instructive as they clearly define what Nigeria is at this moment. The question is; defend with what?
"Is that not anarchy by inference? Has the government given up on defending the people? What is the overall outlook in context of a Failed State? I hope the minister was misquoted."
Abdulateef Babatunde said:
"Things fall apart....So Chief of Defense minister is begging the citizens to defend themselves to avoid further attack??? Oh my God!"
This firm position by the president is contained in a statement issued by one of his media aides, Femi Adesina, which was read at the reception of a delegation of Borno/Yobe elders forum at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
In the statement, the president said his administration is poised to fish out this set of Nigerians and deal with them.
Nurudeen Lawal is a Legit.ng journalist passionate about fact-checking/verification journalism. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature-in-English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. As Politics Editor, Nurudeen mostly writes on Nigeria’s political and socio-economic developments. He has attended different workshops, conferences and training on fact-checking and digital reporting, among others. Learn more about him on Twitter, @Nurudeen Lawal_