The Nigerian Presidency on Saturday described the recent call by former Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, General Theophilus Danjuma that Nigerians should defend themselves against bandits as ‘shocking and scary.’, Danjuma, had at the convocation ceremony of Taraba State University last weekend alleged that security operatives are giving cover to bandits to kill Nigerians.
He, therefore, asked Nigerians not to rely on security agencies, but to gird their loins to defend themselves against bandits.
Reacting to the call by the retired General for the first time on Saturday, the presidency, through Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity urged Nigerians with national influence, to desist from making inciting statements.
The presidential aide said such public declarations were 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 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 both shocking and scary to hear the recent comments by a senior citizen calling for Nigerians to defend themselves.
“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?’’
The presidential aide said former leaders could use the various for available for people with a history of national security to offer advice to the government without exploitation of emotional sentiments.