Saturday, March 31, 2018 7:37 pm
The Nigeria Presidency described as both ‘shocking and scary. recent comments by a former chief of army staff, General Theophilius Danjuma calling for Nigerians to defend themselves against bandits.
The retired General had last week alleged that security operatives were giving cover to bandits who are carrying out killings across country, Nigerians should get ready to defend themselves.
In its first formal reaction to the statement on Saturday, the presidency, in a statement issued by Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, appealed to prominent Nigerians, who have national influence, to desist from making inciting statements but rather use their influence wisely.
According to him, the appeal became necessary to caution Nigerians against engaging in public declarations that were likely to inflame emotional passions and threaten national security.
He said: “The Presidency is very worried that criminal gangs will feel justified in defying legal governing and democratic institutions, and authority of legitimately elected democratic government if unrestrained pronouncements are made.
“Silence can be dignified, but sometimes it can be misinterpreted and exploited. It is
“The Presidency commends the Nigerian military’s efforts to maintain peace and stability, despite being pulled in various directions by elements determined to destabilize the country and government for their selfish reasons.
“What country would survive if its citizens rise against the country’s organized, trained and equipped military?’’
Shehu, therefore, advised former leaders to use the various fora where people with a history of national security could 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,’’ he concluded.