The immediate sack of the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd) has been demanded by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for asking unarmed Nigerians to defend themselves against aggression by armed bandits and terrorists.
Describing the Minister’s call as reckless, irresponsible, the party stated that it is an indication that the Buhari administration has abdicated its statutory duties of protecting Nigerians.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines during the screening of the newly appointed Service Chiefs on Wednesday, the Minister had asked Nigerians to “stand and face” the armed bandits.
The defence minister said security issue should not be the responsibility of the military alone and also charged Nigerians to stop acting like cowards when confronted by armed criminals.
The Minister, while commenting on the killing of a pupil and abduction of 27 others at a secondary school at Kagara, Niger state the by armed bandits, said it’s a surprise to him that Nigerians often took to their heels on hearing gunshots fired by bandits who sometimes strike with “only three rounds of ammunition”.
Reacting to the statement credited to the police affairs minister, the spokesperson of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan in a statement released on Wednesday described the Minister’s statements as reckless, irresponsible and a confirmation that the Buhari administration has surrendered to outlaws and has no determination to fight them.
“It is unthinkable that a government would describe unarmed victims of armed aggression of terrorists and bandits as “cowards” while those who were elected and given the necessary resources to defend them recede in the comfort and safety of their offices in Abuja.
“Such disposition to security; a statutory responsibility of government, goes to validate apprehensions that our nation is indeed descending to a failed state under the Buhari Presidency, where government can no longer perform its duties while unarmed citizens are left to confront bandits and warlords,” the PDP said.
The party noted that given the silence by the Presidency over the comments, the Minister actually spoke the mind of the President and his security architecture.
It added that the Minster’s position further explained why the administration has remained complacent in the fight against terrorism and banditry in the country.
The PDP said: “Such statement by the Buhari administration, at the time it ought to be scaling up its security strategies to guarantee the safety of all Nigerians, have been emboldening bandits, terrorists and kidnappers to escalate their acts atrocities against our compatriots.
“Moreover, with such disposition, the Buhari administration is creating a lucrative job for bandits, terrorists and kidnappers who are settled with huge ransom instead of being faced with firepower.
“Our party however urges Nigerians not to despair at this moment but brace up as it has become obvious that we are now in a despondent situation where government has shown that it can no longer defend the citizens”.