•Accuses soldiers of colluding with killer herdsmen
•IGP assures of adequate protection for secondary schools in N’East
Former Minister of Defence, Gen Theophilus Danjuma, has broken his silence on the recurring onslaught of herdsmen on innocent civilians to pointedly accuse the Nigerian Armed Forces of colluding with the group because they have “an ethnic cleansing agenda”.
Danjuma made this damning allegation in Jalingo on Saturday at the maiden convocation ceremony of the Taraba State University, where he was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Science Degree.
Danjuma, who was once head of the army as Chief of Army Staff from July 1975 to October 1979, further alleged that the military was providing cover for the killer herdsmen while they unleashed terror on communities across the country.
In order to checkmate this, the former Minister of Defence under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, called on the people to rise up and defend themselves as, according to him, relying on the armed forces to provide security for them was suicidal.
Danjuma then issued a stern warning that if ethnic cleansing does not stop in Nigeria, Somalia would become child’s play.
“The armed forces are not neutral. They are conniving with armed bandits that kill people. They facilitate their movement. They cover them.
“You must rise to defend yourselves from these people. If you are depending on the armed forces to protect you, you will all die one by one. I ask every one of you to be alert and defend your country. Defend your territory; defend your states, because you have nowhere else to go.
“Ethnic cleansing must stop in Nigeria otherwise, Somalia would be child’s play,” Danjuma warned.
Incidentally, Sunday Telegraph had reported that residents of Danjuma’s hometown of Takum had earlier accused the army of brutality and extortion as attacks on communities in the area by armed herdsmen since the commencement of “Operation Cat Race” have continued.
Danjuma said that “Taraba is a miniature Nigeria with diverse ethnic and cultural heritage that the armed bandits are trying to bring to ruins. You must rise up to the challenge and resist that.”
Earlier, the state Governor, Darius Ishaku, said that the university was a great blessing to the state and appreciated the founders for their great dream that has brought education closer to the people and provided employment for many.
He said he would continue to support the university to position it as one of the leading universities in the country.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university Prof Vincent Tenebe disclosed that 5, 900 students graduated with various degrees, with 29 securing First Class and 1006 graduating with Second Class Upper Division over a span of five sets.
The retired Army General donated N100million to the university’s endowment fund.
Meanwhile, barely a week after suspected members of the Boko Haram terrorist group released 104 Dapchi school girls, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, was yesterday in Yobe State in compliance with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to provide security for all secondary schools in the state.
Speaking at the Government House in Damaturu, when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, who was represented by his Deputy Engr Abubakar Aliyu, the IG described the visit as an opportunity to discuss security issues for the benefit of the state.
Idris assured that the police would protect all the schools in the state and North East in general, confirming that the deployment of security personnel has already started across secondary schools in the area to ensure peaceful learning environment for the students.
In his remark, the Deputy Governor commended President Buhari for the security measures that led to the release of the Dapchi school girls.
He said that the state government was committed to assisting the police and other security agencies to facilitate peace and order in the state. (New Telegraph)