As more Plateau rural communities come under attack by gunmen, political elders in the state have advised government to “study” Gen. T. Y. Danjuma (Rtd)’s advice to Nigerians to defend themselves.
Danjuma, in a speech at the first convocation ceremony of the Taraba University, Wukari, on Saturday, advised Nigerians to defend themselves against the attacks, declaring that the armed forces were not prepared to protect them from the bandits.
Danjuma alleged that those saddled with protecting the people were facilitating and guiding the attackers, and asked the people to protect their territories since they had no where else to run to.
Danjuma’s comment has generated much interest with government officials saying that his was a call to anarchy.
But the elders, in a statement on Friday in Jos, cautioned security agencies, government and stakeholders against dismissing the former defence minister’s advice.
“Security issues are sensitive. Danjuma is a first class security man and knows when soldiers are ready to discharge their role. It is risky to dismiss his suggestion,” the statement, signed by Chief John Mankilik, Chairman of the elders’ forum in Plateau Central Zone, said.
The elders decried the incessant killings, especially in Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, Taraba and Kaduna States, and urged the armed forces to “do more” to protect the people.
“We believe that Danjuma spoke the minds of the helpless victims of the violence. Many people are being pushed to the wall and may heed such call if nothing is done to change the tide,” they said.
The elders decried the recent killings at Daffo District in Bokkos Local Government, where 30 lives were reportedly lost with many still missing.
They also decried the killings of several traditional rulers, especially the first class ruler of Ron-Kulere, Dr. Lazaru Agai, and urged government to step up efforts to apprehend the killers.
The Plateau elders emphasised the need to focus on fashioning out strategies to protect the interest of the people, and called for unity toward forming a cohesive force.
They urge the security forces to fish out and disarm those masterminding the killings so as to restore peace to trouble rural areas.