Defence minister to Nigerians: don’t be cowards, confront bandits

Defence Minister Maj- Gen. Bashir Magashi, on Wednesday sent out a message to Nigerians on how to stop kidnappers and other criminals elements in the country: “stand and face them.”

”Is it (security issue) the responsibility of the military alone? We shouldn’t be cowards,” Magashi added while reacting to the news of the killing of a student and abduction of 27 of his colleagues from a government college in Niger State.

He said it was a thing of surprise to him that Nigerians often took to their heels on hearing gunshots fired by bandits who sometimes strike with only three rounds of ammunition.

As he spoke on the sidelines of the screening of Service Chiefs by the House of Representatives, the Senate called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on the insecurity in the nation.

Also, opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) advised the Federal Government to drop its rhetoric on ending insecurity and act proactively.

Magashi, who was responding to questions on the kidnap of the students, wondered why Nigerians always run away from what he called “minor, minor aggressions.”

He said: “It is the responsibility of everybody to be alert and ensure safety when necessary.

“We shouldn’t be cowards. Sometimes bandits come with about three rounds of ammunition and when they fire shots everybody will run. In our younger days, we stand to fight any form of aggression.

“Why should people run away from minor, minor aggressions?

“We should stand and face them. If these people know that the people have the competence and capability to defend themselves, they will run away.”

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