MIXED reactions have trailed comments by Bashir Magashi, minister of defence, asking armless Nigerians to defend themselves against armed bandits in the face of growing insecurity in the country.
Magashi had stated this to newsmen at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja on Tuesday.
VIDEO: Don’t be cowards, defend yourself against bandits – Defence Minister tells Nigerians
— The ICIR (@TheICIR) February 18, 2021
While wondering why people were ‘running from minor things,’ referring to attacks by bandits, he said that victims of banditry should resist such attacks and signal to the criminals that “even the villagers have the competency and capability to defend themselves.”
He added that the bandits would sometimes carry only a few rounds of ammunition.
“Is it the responsibility of the military alone? It is the responsibility of everybody to keep alert and to find safety when necessary. But we shouldn’t be cowards,” the minister told reporters.
“At times, the bandits will only come with about three rounds of ammunition. When they fire shots, everybody runs. In our younger days, we stand to fight any aggression coming for us.
“I don’t know why people are running from minor things like that. They should stand and let these people know that even the villagers have the competency and capability to defend themselves.”
Magashi, however, noted that the military would always ensure that no Nigerian was hurt.
He said although the security agencies were ‘so stretched,’ they remained “capable of protecting the integrity of this nation and will continue to do it.”
The minister’s comment is coming after dozens of school children and staff were kidnapped from a secondary school in Niger State by rocket-propelled and gun-wielding bandits on Wednesday.
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Reacting, Nigerians wondered how they should defend themselves against elements wielding sophisticated weapons. Some lamented that the minister’s statement signalled the failure of security under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The Minister of Defence said Nigerians should defend themselves against bandits. Yet same man is against the ownership of guns by private citizens.
So pls how do we defend ourselves?
With bread knife and korkor shoe?
— #OurFavOnlineDoc 🩺🇳🇬🇬🇧💎 (@DrOlufunmilayo) February 17, 2021
The irony of the Minister of Defence saying Nigerians should stop being cowards & face bandits while himself being guarded by soldiers.
— 20.10.2020 (@I_Am_Ilemona) February 17, 2021
Minister of defence is the commander in chief of werey pic.twitter.com/Kkx8DV8lYX
— Mj💡💡 (@edofinnest) February 17, 2021
The practical illustration of Minister of Defence message to Nigerians 🤕🤕🤕 pic.twitter.com/znH4Em4OeH
— Olusola_stephen (@olusola_stephen) February 17, 2021
The Minister of Defence just indirectly told everyone that "you are on your own"
— DEMAGOGUE PhD.💘senior advocat (@von_Bismack) February 17, 2021
Minister of Defence is telling us to face the bandits.. afterall according to him, the bandits come with 3 rounds of ammunitions sometimes..
Same terrorists with RPGs?
Wait, these are the folks that do advise Buhari right?
I hate to say this, this govt is a failure on security
— #AsiwajuOfEkiti (@AsiwajuOladimej) February 17, 2021
FG took $25bn from CBN as overdrafts. Now, the minister of defence just gave up on security..
— Obiorah (@Obiorahenry0) February 18, 2021
In saner climes, there would be a resignation letter from the Minister of Defence this morning for the puke he slapped us with yesterday. Again we should give the president an award for how well he has managed to surround himself with cretins.
— O. (@Othuke__Umukoro) February 18, 2021
It's illegal to own a gun in Nigeria, and minister of defence says "defend yourself"
Is it with catapult? With pple who use RPGs?
So literally, the Defence minister has come out to say "at this point, "there's nothing I can do anymore"
The level of ineptitude though.
— Bright Okuta (@IamTheBrightest) February 18, 2021
It's no longer secret as the minister of defence indirectly declared arm struggle to the citizen of zoo saying "you can be a coward when you're killed by a bandit with only 3 round of ammunition" your security is not only for the military. This is the evidence of the statement
— Chris_truth (@Christruth10) February 18, 2021
Minister of defence be like, "stand up for yourself with a screwdriver and fight against the bandits". That the Nigeria army is fighting for the national integrity that we can't even see with open eyes. pic.twitter.com/nbNWvUPCVQ
— H∆RIZONA (@HarizonaHq) February 18, 2021