Former Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, on Saturday stirred a huge storm by calling on the people if his home state, Taraba, to defend themselves against alleged ethnic cleansing by Fulani herdsmen.
Danjuma gave the charge to his people after being conferred with an honorary doctorate degree by Taraba State University, Jalingo.
He alleged that soldiers were colliding with bandits to unleash terror on the people of various communities in Northern states and as such, could not be trusted to secure them.
“The armed forces are not neutral. They collide with the bandits. They kill people, kill Nigerians. They (armed forces) facilitate their movements. They cover them.
“If you depend on the armed forces to stop the killings, you wl all die one by one. The ethnic cleansing must stop in Taraba State, it must stop in all the states of Nigeria.
“I ask every one of you to be alert and defend your territory, your state. You have nowhere else to go. Otherwise, Somalia will be a child’s play,” Danjuma said.
However, the Nigerian Army swiftly countered the ex-arny chief’s claim, saying its recent Ayem Akpatuma operation against bandits and sundry criminals in six Northern states was successful.
In a statement by the army spokesman, Colonel Texas Chukwu, it stated that it was unfair to accuse the military of colluding with bandits against the people.