Don’t be cowards to face bandits who sometimes carry three rounds of ammunition ― Minister of Defence

• To adopt Katsina strategy to free Niger State students

Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magashi, on Wednesday, urged Nigerians not to be cowards but stop running away from bandits who sometimes carry three rounds of ammunition.

Magashi who gave the charge at the sideline of the screening of the Service Chiefs nominees by the House of Representatives’ Special Committee, in response to a question on the students who were kidnapped in the early hours of Wednesday in Niger State, by armed banditry who dressed in military uniform.

He said: “We have demonstrated our ability to take on the challenge. We have done it in Katsina; when children were kidnapped, within two days, we got them back.

“Hopefully, this time, we will do the same (thing) to get this these captives back. We are planning. Only this confirmation, that we have not got feedback on the activities going on in Niger State.

“But I am that before the end of the day, we will be given a full brief on what is going on in Niger State,” he assured.

He also tasked the citizens to stand and face the bandits rather than run away when bandits shoot to the air during their operations.

He said: “Well, is it the responsibility of the military alone? It is the responsibility of everybody to keep alert and find safety when necessary.

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

“I don’t know why people are running away from minor, minor things like that? We should stand and face them. Let these people know that even the villagers they have the competence and capability to defend themselves, but our own duty is to ensure no Nigerian is hurt, or we are capable of protecting the integrity of this nation and we will continue to do it even though we are so stressed.”

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While responding to question on the ongoing national discourse on licensing Nigerians to bear arms to defend themselves, the Minister who expressed opposition to the call, said: “It’s an issue even in the developed country.

“They are still debating on it whether to continue or stop. But I don’t advice Nigerians to start using firearms for personal use.”

In a swift response to the public outcry over the merit on the nomination of the four ex-Service Chiefs as non-Career Ambassador, he said: “Honestly, you should understand the efforts the service chiefs put for this country.

“When they came in 2015, you could see the applause, people accepted them and they were doing this nation proud.

“They captured almost all objectives that were not the areas under the control of the terrorists and their only fault is probably because they stayed longer and we know that Nigerians always don’t want people to stay long because of obvious reasons.

“But I think they have done their best and I believe they are capable and competent to take any other assignment,” the Minister said.









Don’t be cowards to face bandits who sometimes carry three rounds of ammunition ― Minister of Defence

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