By Princely Onyenwe, Imo
Following the recent statement of the minister of Defence that civilians should confront armed bandits than to keep running for their dear lives.
Nigerian’s main opposition party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, has demanded for the immediate sacking of the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd.), for allegedly abdicating his statutory responsibility and asking unarmed Nigerians to defend themselves against bandits.
The main opposition party flayed a statement credited to the Magashi who reportedly urged Nigerians to stop being cowards and confront the bandits. The minister equally enjoined Nigerians not to carry arms while doing so.
In a statement titled, ‘Abdication: PDP demands defence minister’s sacking’, which was signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, on Thursday, the party described the minister’s comments as reckless and irresponsible.
It read in part, “The PDP demands the immediate sacking of the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd.), for abdicating his statutory duties and asking unarmed Nigerians to defend themselves against armed aggression by bandits and terrorists.
“It is unthinkable that a government would describe unarmed victims of armed aggression of terrorist 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 the government can no longer perform its duties while unarmed citizens are left to confront bandits and warlords.”
Addressing journalists at the national assembly complex on Wednesday, the minister said victims of banditry should resist such attacks and let the criminals know that “even the villagers have the competency and capability to defend themselves”.
He was responding to a question on the growing security situation in the country following incessant attacks by bandits across the north.
9News Nigeria (Owerri)
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