Former minister of defence, Gen Theophilus Danjuma (retd), has reprimanded the Nigerian Armed Forces over the wanton killings reported in parts of the country, accusing them of bias.
Danjuma, who said this yesterday in Jalingo during the maiden convocation and 10th anniversary of the Taraba State University, Jalingo, urged Nigerians across the country to rise and defend themselves from killers instead of depending on the armed forces.
He accused the armed forces of providing cover for the killers, and called for an end to the killings before they get out of hand.
He said, “You must rise to protect yourselves from these people; if you depend on the armed forces for protection, you will all die one by one,” he stated.
“The ethnic cleansing must stop now; otherwise, Somalia will be a child’s play.
“I ask every one of you to be on the alert and defend your country, defend your territory, defend your state because you have nowhere else to go.
“The armed forces are not neutral, they are conniving with the armed bandits that are killing people.”
Danjuma described Taraba as a miniature Nigeria with beautiful cultures which the bandits were doing everything to destroy.
In his speech, the Taraba State governor, Mr. Darius Ishaku, stressed the need for tertiary institutions in the state to increase their capacity to generate revenue.
He said if tertiary institutions improve their revenue base, it would help them to be self-reliant rather than depending fully on government.
Governor Ishaku applauded former governors of the state, Jolly Nyame and the late Danbaba Suntai, for initiating the university project and for having the boldness to establish the institution.
The governor affirmed the commitment of his administration towards raising the standard of the university to be among the best in the country.
He commended the vice chancellor of the state university, Vincent Tenebe, the management and students of the institution for their cooperation.
In his convocation address, the vice chancellor said the institution had witnessed infrastructural and academic developments.
Tenebe revealed that the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had expanded the numbers of those to be matriculated from 2,475 to 5,000 students.
He said plans were also on the way for the university to commence doctorate programmes.
The convocation ceremony featured the installation of General Jeremiah Useni (retd) as the chancellor of the Taraba State University, and the conferment of doctorate degree on Danjuma (retd) and Professor Sa’ad Bogoro of TETFUND.
Meanwhile, the defence headquarters yesterday reacted to the weighty allegations by Danuma, saying the armed forces carry out their operations in a professional manner.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP Sunday, the acting director of defence information (DDI), Brigadier General John Agim, refuted the allegations of bias and complicity in killings in the country, insisting that as a professional force, the Nigerian military cannot be biased in any of its operations or assignments, adding that as a retired senior military officer, General Danjuma should be aware of this fact.
“Every military assignment is done professionally,” he said.
The DDI further explained that troops are selected from different parts of the country when an operation is to be carried out, so “they don’t know the indigenes they are going to work with in the community, so how can they be biased.
Agim, however, noted that since Danjuma was a respected senior officer, the military hierarchy would investigate these allegations and if any officers are found culpable, they would be dealt with accordingly.
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