Let us make sense of this assertion to Nigerians to defend themselves in the face of increasing, more daring attacks by terrorist under the moniker “bandits”. To effectively appreciate that call, Nigerians must first divorce their minds of subjective preconceptions, political prejudices and, induced sentimental biases.
Words convey more meanings than they seem in their literal use. Innuendoes, inferences, presumption and denotations open up sentences to much deeper meaning than they may appear on the face of it.
To bring the Minister’s call to full intendment, the same is to be viewed through the prism of the state of insecurity in the country vis-a-viz the comments by Bauchi governor Bala Mohammed justifying the carrying of assault rifles by herdsmen and, the reaction same has generated across the country.
The Defence Minister is a retired Major General of the Nigerian Army. He is a trained officer who understands within the context of the office he currently occupies, that his words bear weight. He looks a reticent man who isn’t a loose cannon. He must have meticulously and carefully chosen to address Nigerians at the forum he did, knowing his interview was being granted to the press. It is clear he intended to pass across that particular message to Nigerians, leaving himself no room for deniability. The Minister was not the least ambiguous. He was clear and unequivocal. Nigerians must zoom in on the message only.
It would appear as though the Federal Government has awoken to a realization of the enormity of security challenges the country currently contends with foreign terrorists who, masquerading as herdsmen, waltzed their way into Nigeria and have entrenched themselves in many forests from where they now control large swathes of Nigerian territory, visiting unimaginable acts of terrorism on unarmed civilian populations.
With at least 70% of the total 500million illicit arms within West Africa circulating within Nigeria, per data presented by Senator Uba Sani while arguing his motion in support of Bill for amendment of the Firearms Act, the Minister’s call is clearly a call for help in the face of fact that Nigeria’s security architecture is stretched thin and incapable of fighting these new enemies on its own.
Maj. Gen. Magashi’s call is clearly a call to arms. It is a call to Nigerians to brace up in preparation for impending battle; a battle which the Nigerian military cannot fight alone or win, without loyal Nigerian militia assets organized with input of the State, working to defend their patch of Nigeria’s territory. The Minister spoke his truth, devoid of all colouration of political correctness.
The enemy within us are not of us. The fox is already within the barn. Left on their own devices, Nigerians will continue to be slaughtered by the foreign terrorist while they put up little to no resistance and flee like cowards. Nigerians must admit to the inefficiencies of our military and police which struggle to protect themselves against the terrorists.
The Minister’s call is a patriotic one. Nigerians must prepare to heed his call, in defence of the motherland, remembering always that the enemy is not one of us! There are no bandits. Just terrorists.