Against the backdrop of former Minister of Defense, Gen Danjuma’s submission, the Nigeria Army had yesterday warned any citizen caught in possession of firearms and ammunition, saying, any body found in such doings would be dealt with in accordance with the law.
Recall the former minister of defense submits in a statement at a convocation ceremony; saying “Taraba people should defend their selves”
The army gave the warning in a statement by its spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Texas Chukwu, in reaction to an accusation against it by Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, a former Chief of Army Staff.
At the convocation of the Taraba State University on Saturday, Danjuma accused the armed forces of colluding with armed bandits to foment violence.
He also alleged that the armed forces were unable to adequately provide security for the citizens of Taraba State and called on the people to defend themselves.
In the reaction, Chukwu said: “The army views this statement as most unfortunate at this critical time that the military has embarked upon the demilitarization of the North Central region of the country.’’
According to him, certain facts needed to be clearly stated in the interest of the Taraba people and Nigerians in general. Chukwu said the army is constitutionally charged with the responsibility of defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria and to aid the civil authority whenever called upon to do so.
According to a statement posted on its facebook page, Chukwu said it was in line with this that the army was authorised to conduct “Exercise Ayem Akpatuma’’ in six states, including Taraba.
The army spokesman explained that under the exercise, troops were deployed to curb herdsmen/farmers conflict and other criminal activities in the North central zone, amongst others.
“It is noteworthy to state that at the inception of Exercise Ayem Akpatuma, the Taraba State government did not cooperate due to the army’s stance to remain absolutely neutral in the herdsmen-farmers crisis.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the army advises the people of Taraba State and indeed all other Nigerians to continue in their day-to-day activities and be law-abiding as anyone caught with arms and ammunition will be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the land,” he said.