A Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, yesterday backed calls by former Minister of Defence, Lieutenant General Theophilus Danjuma (Rtd) that Nigerians should defend themselves against the unending violence in some parts of the country.
Shehu, who appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s political programme, Sunday Politics, however, warned that it must be within the ambit of the law.
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with you defending yourself in line with the law,” he said.
“The security services in the country will probably not be telling Nigerians to do nothing when they come and attack,”
DAILY POST reports that a day earlier, the Buhari-led government had appealed to prominent Nigerians, who have national influence, to watch what they say.
Meanwhile, on the reaction of the President to the Former Defence Minister’s outburst, Shehu said he believed that President Buhari was taking the pleas made by Nigerians seriously in dealing with the issues raised.
“This is a listening government and the reaction then was of silence to say to them that we have heard you.
“We will listen to the useful advice you have given us. We will take what we can use from what you have said,” he noted.
The Presidential aide, however, exonerated the military of condoning attacks that have led to bloodshed in the land.
He was of the view that members of the Armed forces were there to defend citizens of the country even to their own detriment.
DAILY POST recalls that Danjuma had on March 24 accused the military of complicity in the killings within Taraba, Benue and other “riverine states” in the country.
According to Danjuma, during a convocation ceremony of Taraba State University, “The peace in this state is under assault. There is an attempt at ethnic cleansing in this state and, of course, in all the riverine state of Nigeria. We must resist it. We must stop it. Every one of us must rise up,”
Following his outburst, many Nigerians have expressed their views, with many criticizing the President Muhammadu Buhari administration for failing to address the security challenges in parts of the country.