OPINION: Is The Defence Minister Asking Nigerians To Fight Bandits With Our Bare Hands?

February 18, 2021

OPINION: Is The Defence Minister Asking Nigerians To Fight Bandits With Our Bare Hands?

I was having my breakfast when my twin called to my attention, a post from our honourable Minister of Defence, Major General (rtd) Bashir Magashi advising Nigerians on how to tackle the issue of rural banditry in Nigeria. In the article that appeared on Daily Trust on Wednesday, 27th February, we (Nigerians) were asked to ‘stand and face them (bandits).’ It sounded great, or at least, not bad since he also made reference to our younger days when 'we stand to fight any form of aggression.'

In his words; ‘Well, is it the responsibility of the military alone? It is the responsibility of everybody to be alert and ensure safety when necessary.

We shouldn’t be cowards. Sometimes the 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 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.

As I was about praising him for the motivation, and possibly think of how I'd enrol in a Kung Fu college for the necessary training, he made another statement dismissing the clamour for Nigerians to be allowed to bear arms to defend themselves.

According to him; ‘It is an issue currently even in the developed country. They are still debating on whether to continue (to allow people bear arms) or stop. But I don’t advice Nigerians to bear fire arms for internal use,

He's also correct, considering that ‘the rifle itself has no moral stature,’ I won't advise that we (Nigerians) are allowed to handle arms.

But then, the honourable Minister should have known the implications of an ordinary, armless man fighting a fully armed bandit.

Does he want us to confront them (bandits) with or bare hands? So ordinary citizens that do not have the luxury of bearing arms should dare and confront gun-wielding bandits?

How am I supposed to know that the bandits come around with three rounds of ammunition when I'm yet to undergo any military training?

Professor Adeniyi Olatunbosun, the head of the department of public and international law at the University of Ibadan during an interview with Guardian.ng, stated that 'the primary duty of government is to ensure that security of lives of the citizens are protected and guaranteed under the law.'

Nigerians React:

Nigerians have taken to Twitter to air our their opinions and displeasure over the recent statement, check out some of the tweets as spotted by our team:

What do you think?

You Might Also Like