By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—CHAIRMAN of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, has advised the Federal Government not to discountenance the call by former Minister of Defence, General Theophilus Danjuma (retd), to Nigerians to defend themselves against attack by herdsmen, but should study the import of the statement.
He spoke with newsmen in Benin City, Edo State, yesterday while reacting to sundry issues affecting the country.
He said: “First and foremost, General Danjuma is a citizen of this country and of course his rights and privileges are completely protected by provisions of our constitution, his fundamental rights are protected, so he is entitled to his opinions.
“It is another thing to consider the merit of the statement. But I want to say that as a responsible Nigerian, General Danjuma’s statement cannot be discountenanced. A government worth its salt should investigate the full import of such statement and see how relevant it is with respect to contemporary happenings in Nigeria when it comes to the question of insurrection and insurgency.
“Government should look at it more closely because this is somebody who is not overtly partisan, he is an objective and responsible citizen of this country, so he knows what he is talking about.”
“All the things are seeing still point to the fact that these were things that were predicted about our country that by 2015, Nigeria would have disintegrated, whether it is by an international conspiracy or by an internal conspiracy.
“By virtue of our ethnic nationalities, we are now wanting to go apart or international conspiracy is capitalizing on our diversity along the lines of ethnic nationalities and wants to divide us. Government must be aware at all times that its responsibility is to put us together, if really we are honest and want to live as one country.
“So what has been happening in the Boko Haram issue that started like child’s play, after Boko Haram, we are talking about herdsmen. What do we mean by herdsmen? A herder is somebody who take cattle, who is doing his animal farming, that is a herder. We read about the Fulanis in history many years ago, cattle Fulani as a Nigerian has always been known that it is his occupation but are you really saying that these people who are natural cattle Fulani are the ones we are calling herdsmen?
“Are they really the ones or people who disguise and are armed to the teeth with sophisticated weapons, disguising as the cattle Fulani or that you now call herdsmen that are causing this mayhem across the country? Have you really wondered the cruelty in the killing of Nigerians by these people, do they have any natural relationships with Nigerians? That is another thing.
“ So, when you are killing a woman that is pregnant, tearing her abdomen and bringing the child out and killing the child with vexation, it only means it is more than what we know.?