The Indigenous People of Biafra on Sunday said Danjuma’s call that Nigerians should defend themselves against killers was belated. IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, in a statement described Danjuma’s statement as “crying over spilt milk.”
The sttaemnet by IPOB titled, ‘Only if they had listened to him (Kanu) four years ago,’ IPOB said people like Danjuma rather called for the head of Kanu over his call for self defence by Nigerians who were massacred with impunity.
The statement read in part, “What is happening before our eyes today was foretold by our leader many years back and had those in power in Abuja listened to him rather than lock him up without trial, thousands of innocent lives could have been saved across Nigeria.
“We state without any equivocation that all those killed by marauding Fulani herdsmen and the Nigerian military that provides them covert support died in vain because people like Danjuma initially supported the oppressors and vilified Mazi Nnamdi Kanu instead of paying careful attention to what he was saying.
“The same way the likes of Danjuma from the Middle Belt have woken up to the reality of the failed state that Nigeria has become, so will the South-East governors, Ohaneze Ndigbo and PANDEF do in the coming months.”
In another development, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, said Danjuma’s comment was “highly uncalled for,” and an invitation to anarchy, asking Nigerians to report any member of the armed forces suspected to be colluding with herdsmen.
Dan-Ali spoke in a statement by his Public Relations Officer, Col. Tukur Gusau.
The statement read in part, “On a recent comment by one of the elder statesmen alleging that the military colludes with bandits to kill people and calling on them to rise and defend themselves, this is highly uncalled for and it is an invitation to anarchy. It should be disregarded by well-meaning Nigerians.
“The Armed Forces are professional in discharging their constitutional mandate. Therefore, if anyone has evidence of wrongdoing or dereliction of duty against our troops, he should bring forward such evidence through the appropriate channels for necessary action.”
Also, the Nigerian Army on Sunday said the comment by Danjuma was unfortunate, noting that the Taraba State Government had refused to cooperate with the army in the ongoing Exercise Ayem Akpatuma.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Texas Chukwu, said the state government failed to cooperate with the troops because of “the neutrality of the army in the herdsmen-farmers crisis.”
Chukwu said, “The army views the statement made by the former army chief as most unfortunate. While we will not want to take issue with the elder statesman, certain facts need to be clearly stated in the interest of the Taraba people.
“There is the conduct of Exercise Ayem Akpatuma by troops to curb the menace of the herdsmen-farmers conflict and other criminal activities in the North-Central region. The army personnel have had to pay the ultimate price for the security in Taraba State. An officer of the army was beheaded on March 16 in Takum, Taraba State, by criminal elements.
“At the inception of the exercise, the Taraba State Government did not cooperate with the army due to the army’s stance to remain absolutely neutral in the herdsmen-farmers crisis. The army will continue to remain as such. The army advises the people of Taraba State to continue in their day-to-day activities and be law-abiding.
“Anyone caught with arms and ammunition will be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the land.”