Politics

“…our nation is bleeding now” – President Buhari’s Defence Minister, Gen. Magashi, says

The Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd)

The Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd), has stated that Nigeria is bleeding due to self-interest and other primordial considerations of elite.

The Defence Minister said that some politicians, religious leaders and ethnic leaders were exploiting the social division in the country for personal gains.

Gen. Magashi who spoke on Thursday in Abuja at the 7th edition of the ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Media Team, stated that Nigeria lacked national consensus, common comprehensive understanding and interpretation of what national security is because of such divisiveness.

“Make no mistakes that our nation is bleeding now. It is bleeding because of the self-interest and other primordial considerations underlying decisions, which quite a number of our elite; political, ethnic and religious, make it so. Such elite are quick to attribute blames to groups other than theirs.

“The whole idea is to exploit the social division for their political gains and it is because of this divisiveness that Nigeria lacks a national consensus or common comprehensive understanding and the interpretation of what national security is, like Boko Haram, farmers/herders clashes, IPOB and other political associations that are coming up with different mandates and different concerns. All these can encourage groups to seek violence as a legitimate alternative.

“From here emerges a narrow vision of national identity and vision which threatens our country’s prospect of social cohesion and stability. This is why we’re seeing the rise of self-help syndrome, often endorsed by states and local elites seeking violence as a legitimate alternative.

“The rise in vigilantism and identity-based militia, who claim to be working for the political and ethno-religious emancipation of their people, A.K.A resource control, secession and regional self-determination, define the potent threats to the national security in our country,” he said.

“We have made a comprehensive brief as far as the security of this country is concerned and the methods we want to use in ensuring that we strategically and tactically get rid of all enemies of this country, be it political enemy, religious enemy, ethnic enemies and all the political enemies of this country.

“We have made a comprehensive report or research on that and we have taken our position, which I don’t want to pre-empt here, but certainly, we are coming back with that,” he said.

Speaking on the recent attacks on security formations and personnel, the Minister said that it would no longer be tolerated. He further noted that the killers of 12 soldiers in Benue State would be brought to book.

“Whoever touches the military has no regard for this country and this country is governed by the rule of law and we have accepted democracy as a solution to the liberty of individuals in this country.

“We have been very firm, we have succeeded in reiterating to them what we actually want and we have got some answers that the weapons that were captured from the soldiers have been retrieved, at least we have nine of them out of 12 and the perpetrators, they have been captured and taken to the police for proper interrogation and subsequent prosecution,” he said.

He also revealed that some sponsors of the Boko Haram terrorist group have been apprehended in Kano State.

The general noted that the military would eliminate perceived threats.

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