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Self-Defence: Presidency Attacks Danjuma As Agbakoba, Others Faults FG’s Reaction

TYDanjuma1
                        Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd.)

Olalekan Adetayo, Eniola Akinkuotu, Adelani Adepegba, Olaleye Aluko and Godwin Isenyo

The Presidency, on Saturday, described as shocking and scary the recent statement by a former Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd.), that Nigerians should not rely on security agencies for protection but defend themselves in the face of unrestrained killings across the country.

It said unrestrained pronouncements were capable of encouraging criminals to defy legal and democratic institutions.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said these in a statement made available to journalists on Saturday.

But groups and prominent Nigerians, including Afenifere and Chief Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), faulted the Presidency on its reaction to Danjuma.

The Presidency, in the statement, urged prominent Nigerians to use their national influence wisely and shun public declarations that could threaten national security.

The Presidency wondered if any country could survive if its citizens rose against its military.

Despite Danjuma’s verdict on the armed forces, however, the presidential aide commended the Nigerian military’s efforts to maintain peace and stability “despite being pulled in various directions by elements determined to destabilise the country and government for their selfish reasons.”

The statement read, “The Presidency wishes to appeal to prominent Nigerians, who have national influence, to use their influence wisely and not continue to engage in public declarations that are likely to inflame emotional passions and threaten national security.

“The Presidency is very worried that criminal gangs will feel justified in defying legal, governing and democratic institutions, and authorities of legitimately elected democratic government if unrestrained pronouncements are made.

“Silence can be dignified, but sometimes, it can be misinterpreted and exploited. It is both shocking and scary to hear the recent comments by a senior citizen calling for Nigerians to defend themselves.”

The statement added, “What country would survive if its citizens rise against the country’s organised, trained and equipped military?

“We advise former leaders to take advantage of the various fora, where people with a history of national security can offer advice to the government without resorting to the exploitation of emotional sentiments.

“The civil war motto: ‘To keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done’, rings very timely at this time in our nation’s history. We must be careful to avoid the mess that destroyed other African countries like Somalia.”

The reaction came exactly one week after Danjuma, while speaking at the maiden convocation of the Taraba State University, Jalingo, and the 10th anniversary of the institution, told Nigerians to defend themselves against killers in the country.

While the former army chief alleged that the military was not neutral in the killings, he added that the armed forces were not ready to defend them.

He had said, “Our Armed Forces are not neutral. They collude with the bandits to kill people, kill Nigerians. The Armed Forces guide their movements; they cover them. If you are depending on the Armed Forces to stop the killings, you will all die one by one.

“This ethnic cleansing must stop in Taraba State and other rural states of Nigeria, otherwise, Somalia will be a child’s play.

“I ask every one of you to be alert and defend your country; defend your territory and defend your state. Defend yourselves because you have no other place to go. God bless our country.”

The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, and other individuals have since supported Danjuma’s call.

FG has failed to protect Nigerians, says Agbakoba

Meanwhile, the Co-Chairman of the Nigerian Intervention Movement, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), said Danjuma should not be blamed for what he said since the government had failed to protect the lives of innocent Nigerians.

In an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday, the senior advocate stated, “Generally speaking, I feel that the statement by Danjuma can be interpreted based on perspective. If you are in government, you may fault him but the truth is that in spite of everything the government has tried to do, killings are still going on.

“Just the other day, herdsmen came to Lekki. So, it is still going on in spite of what might be the best efforts of the government. Taraba is a heavily-affected state and so, what do you want them to say if you can no longer depend on security agents to protect you.

“Look at the case of Dapchi where soldiers withdrew and then Boko Haram went in to abduct the girls. So, nobody can trust the army anymore. I don’t and if I was living in an insecure area, I would tell my people to arm themselves and be ready.

“Rather than say that Danjuma should not have said what he said, the government should do its best and show us that it can protect our lives and property.”

FG’s statement, insensitive –Afenifere

In its reaction, the apex Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, knocked the Federal Government over its statement.

It described the Presidency’s reaction as insensitive and offensive, noting that it showed that the government supported the activities of the killer herdsmen.

Afenifere’s spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, called on the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Genocide to investigate the killings before they would lead to a breakdown of law and order in the country.

He asked, “Is it asking Nigerians being killed to defend themselves that could lead to a breakdown of law and order? Seventy-three people were killed in one day in Benue. Many people have been killed in the last three years. Not one person has been brought to book by this government.

“This statement is so embarrassing, offensive, unfeeling. It shows clearly that the Nigerian Government is fully behind the activities of the herdsmen who are killing people and that is why we restate our demand. Since there is no justice from the Federal Government, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Genocide should look into what is going on in Nigeria before there is a breakdown of law and order.”

Security experts back Danjuma

Also, some security experts have backed the call by Danjuma on Nigerians to defend themselves. The experts, in separate interviews, said self-preservation was the first law of nature and that Nigerians had the right to defend themselves when attacked by the rampaging Fulani herdsmen.

A retired Commissioner of Police, Olusola Amore, pointed out that self-defence was guaranteed by the constitution, stressing that a citizen had the rights to defend himself against aggressors, particularly if his life was under threat.

Amore said, “The issue of self-defence is guaranteed by the constitution. If you look at Force Order 237, when can a policeman use a firearm? Ordinarily, you cannot just use your firearm, but you can use a firearm when your life is in danger, and you have no other way of defending yourself or when another life is in danger and you have no other means of defending that person.”

A former State Director, Department of State Services, Mike Ejiofor, said Danjuma’s statement was in order, insisting that everyone had the right to defend himself or herself against violent aggression.

Ejiofor stated, “Self-preservation is the first law of nature; so, I don’t see anything wrong in his call that people should defend themselves.

“All these herdsmen; are they not armed? The police are asking ordinary people to surrender their arms, but they have not been able to recover the arms from the herdsmen.

“So they want the arms to be surrendered, so the herdsmen can annihilate the people, it is not right. I don’t see anything wrong with Danjuma’s statement that the people should defend themselves against aggression, but it must be done within the ambit of the law.”

Another security analyst, Ben Okezie, commended Danjuma for “using his voice as a megaphone so that those in power can hear what the masses have been crying about.”

He, however, noted that the former defence minister should have made his concerns known privately to the government and the military leadership, adding that his statement could destabilise national security.

Again, ACF keeps mum over Danjuma’s comment

Again, the pan-Northern socio-political organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum, on Saturday, failed to react to the comment by Danjuma calling on Nigerians to defend themselves against herdsmen attacks.

SUNDAY PUNCH  learnt from an impeccable source that although the National Executive Council of the ACF  met on Tuesday, the northern group remained silent on the matter.

When contacted, the National Publicity Secretary of the Forum, Alhaji Muhammad Biu, initially declined to speak on the matter. However, while still on the telephone with one of our correspondents, he promised to talk on the issue later, noting that he was attending a “meeting.”

“No comment,” but added, “okay, I will call you later. Let me think over it. I am in a meeting now,” Biu said.

Sunday PUNCH, however, gathered that during the meeting, which was held at the secretariat of the forum in Kaduna, the Danjuma matter (comment) was extensively discussed.

It was learnt that elders of the forum insisted that there should be no reaction to the issue, which they considered “sensitive” to the unity of the region.

An inside source in the ACF said, “Because of the implication to the unity of the North, our elders said there should be no reaction since the government and the military have reacted. We already have enough troubles in the region. We don’t need to overheat the polity.

“Given that not all members of the ACF that like what is going on in the country, there is nothing that we can do for now. What do we do? There was a meeting of the group on Tuesday where national issues were discussed.

“The purported passing of no-confidence vote in the President and the general security situation in the country were also discussed.   Lt. Gen. TY Danjuma’s comment was actually part of the agenda of the meeting.”    (Punch)

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Danjuma’s Outburst: Buhari Should Declare National State Of Emergency – Miyetti Allah

DANJUMA-BUHARI

President Buhari and TY Danjuma

The Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM) in their resolution asked the president to declare a national state of emergency over the call for self-defence by the retired army chief, Lt Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Dajuma.

The group had this to say in their resolution, which is seen by many as a declaration of war against the rest of the country.
MEDIA RELEASE FROM RESOLUTION ADOPTED TODAY
President On behalf of the Fulani Nationality Movement, (FUNAM) we express our RESOLUTION as adopted today on the state of the nation.

( 1) We observe with great concern the continuous demonisation of the Fulani people by some recalcitrant ethnic groups in Nigeria. We see the outburst of General Theophilus Danjuma who was brought up and fed by the Fulani, as an extension of the hate against the Fulani people.

( 2)We call on the President, Mohammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency in Nigeria. This follows the obvious threats against the Federal Government as demonstrated further late last week when former Chief of Army Staff, Theophilus Danjuma called on Nigerians to take up arms against a constituted authority led by a Fulani President Buhari has the legal right to act now before it is too late.

(3) The statement of Gen Danjuma is nothing but a direct call to arms. He is fuelling anger and rage against the President for nothing other than that the President is a Fulani man. 3) We urge President Buhari to see this as a direct assault on Nigeria as a sovereign state and an assault on the Fulani people all over the world.

(4) We have said it several times that the Middle Belt people cannot be trusted, either Christian or Muslim. They are the same with their Southern collaborators who do not see anything good in Fulani but rather to exterminate us.

(5) It should be clear to any reasonable person that Nigeria as a country cannot have too many masters. Every country is usually endowed with those saddled with political power and those saddled with economic power.

The Fulani do not contend the economic power with Southerners and their new found allies in the Middle Belt. What we reject is the plot to exterminate the Fulani from the economic front and then made to be subservient on the political field.

In 1804, politically Nigeria would have been our own booty but for the intervention of the British. We call on Fulani all over the world to prepare for the coming battle. We have to settle this contest once and for all. Either you are a Muslim or Fulani Christian minority,

Nigeria is the only country in the world where we are in control of the political machinery. To give up this country will amount to a betrayal of Fulani all over the world. It will amount to humiliation; it will amount to suicide. Negotiating political power with those who have no honour and culture is a weakness. We should rise and assert ourselves. The time is today; tomorrow may be too late.

( 6) General Buhari has failed to produce the firm leadership required. Retaining military hardware in the Middle Belt pose threat to national stability. We say again that it is time to move all the military hardware from enemy territories of the Middle Belt.

The time for half-measure is not now. Fulani all over is being killed and massacred. In Mambilla, over 1000 Fulani were killed in cold blood. Our movement is being restricted, yet we are Nigerians who do not and have never restricted the movement of anyone.

(7) We call on all Fulani to prepare for the Jihad. This is the basis of the anger of the poor people in the North today against their politic leaders. They are angry that politicians have failed them. They are angry that instead of defending the Fulani, they are busy supporting those against Fulani, dining and wining with infidels.

These are the factors responsible for the rise of radical Islam. The political leaders should either take the bull by the horns and damn the consequences or the ordinary Fulani poor will and can do it by themselves. Enough of ostrich game.

Signed on behalf of FUNAM
Badu Salisu Ahmadu
National President and
Umar Amir Shehu

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Defend Yourselves Against Fulani Herdsmen, Yoruba Leaders Tell S’West Residents

Image result for Rev. Ayo Ladigbolu

                                                    Rev. Ayo Ladigbolu

Femi  Makinde, Osogbo

The Deputy Chairman, Yoruba Unity Forum, Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu, has asked the people of the South-West to defend themselves with anything at their disposal to stop the incessant attacks by the Fulani herdsmen in the region.

Ladigbolu said this in an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Ile-Ife, Osun State, after his condolence visit to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, at the monarch’s palace over the communal clash between Yoruba and Hausa in the town.

The retired cleric explained that self defence had become imperative since the government had abdicated its responsibilities to the citizens who were being oppressed and terrorised every day by the rampaging herdsmen.

While berating the silence of the Federal Government on the atrocities being committed by Fulani herdsmen, Ladigbolu argued that governors in the South-West were not doing enough to defend their people or to stop the herdsmen daily attacks.

Ladigbolu said, “I am not sure the South-West governors are doing enough and indeed, my own fears is that could  this be a rehearsal of the ground design to invade Yorubaland using decoys? That is my personal fears.

“But all we can do at the moment is to ask our people to be vigilant and to defend themselves and protect their lives and property. That is about what we can do for  now until we are sure that we have a government that will be fair to all and  that will be just to all and that will not be partisan in dealing with issues that affect our communities.”

Speaking on the police investigation into the March 8 clash in Ile-Ife, Ladigbolu said the group was happy that the Osun State Government had set up a panel of inquiry to probe the matter.

Ladigbolu added that he believed that the panel would do a thorough job and come out with a report which would explain the issues surrounding the deadly clash.

He said governments and traditional rulers should call meetings of various ethnic nationalities in their domains to ensure constant dialogue so that the people would know the idiosyncrasies and peculiar things about one another.

The YUF leader had earlier, while addressing the Ooni, stated that vigilance was one of the lessons God wanted Yoruba people to learn from the clash against the Hausa people at the Sabo area of Ile-Ife.

Another leader of the YUF, Senator Femi Okurounmu, said despite the current problems confronting Nigeria, the nation would still be at peace and enjoy development later.

The Ooni called on Yoruba leaders to unite and work more for the development of the race.

He advised Yoruba people against allowing politics to divide them, saying they should unite irrespective of their political affiliations.

The Ooni noted that Yoruba people were unique in the whole world because of their religious tolerance, adding that Christians, Muslims and adherents of other religions coexisted without any fight in Yorubaland.

The Ogiyan of Ejigbo, Oba Omowonuola Oyesosin, also said Yoruba people needed unity more than before.

He said other ethnic groups were envious of the Yoruba race, which could inform the attacks against them.                         (Punchng.com)

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