A former minister of defence, Gen TY Danjuma (retired), yesterday accused the Nigerian Armed Forces of aiding attacks by bandits on communities across the country, warning that if such attacks continued, the consequences would make what happened in Somalia a child’s play.
Danjuma, a former Chief of Army Staff, said the military could not be relied upon for the security of the citizenry, advising Nigerians to rise up to defend themselves or risk massacre.
He spoke at the maiden convocation of the Taraba State University in Jalingo where he was conferred with an honorary Doctor of Science degree.
His Taraba home state has recently witnessed attacks and counter-attacks between herders and famers, leading to hundreds of casualties.
While speaking against the violence in the state and other parts of the country, Danjuma said it was time for everyone to rise up and defend themselves.
“The armed forces are not neutral,” he said, adding, “They collude with the armed bandits that kill people, kill Nigerians. They facilitate their movement. They cover them.
“If you are depending on the armed forces to stop the killings, you will die one by one,” he said.
He threatened that violence would result should the killings in his state and other communities in the country continue.
“The ethnic cleansing must stop in Taraba State. It must stop in all the states of Nigeria, otherwise Somalia will be a child’s play. I ask everyone of you to be at alert and defend your country, defend your territory, defend your state. You have nowhere else to go,” he said.
General Danjuma said Taraba was a miniature Nigeria with diverse ethnic and cultural heritage the armed bandits are trying to bring to ruins, warning that people must rise up to the challenge and resist them.
Earlier, the state governor, Darius Ishaku said the university was a great blessing to the state and appreciated the founders for the initiative. He said he would continue to support the university. The Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Vincent Tenebe disclosed that 5,900 students graduated with various degrees. General Danjuma donated N100 million to the institution.