By Dapo Akinrefon
The South-West Security Stakeholders, on Friday, said the statement credited to the Minister of Defence, Maj Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd) calling on Nigerians to defend themselves against bandits and other criminal elements, was an official endorsement of self-defence.
In a communique issued after its security summit, which was convened by the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba Land, Iba Gani Adams, the summit faulted the Minister’s remarks.
The summit was attended by members of the Oodua Peoples Congress, Agbekoya, Hunters Group, Isokan Ile Yoruba, Vigilante Group of Nigeria (JAHUN), Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Ibarapa Group and Community Society Awareness Initiative.
The communique reads:
“The meeting reviewed recent security concerns in the nation generally and Oodua land in particular.
“The meeting shared the concern of the people in general and prominent Nigerians especially about the security situation in the land.
“The meeting noted the exasperation inherent in the statement of the Minister of Defence of the nation calling on Nigerians to defend themselves. This is clearly official endorsement of self defence.
“The meeting feared the situation if not addressed signals a grievous national crisis.
“The meeting therefore called on the government to quickly arrest the apparent descent into anarchy.
“The meeting aligned with the call of the governors of South West that President Muhammadu Buhari should prove his innocence in the carnage being perpetrated by herders by not only unambiguously condemning the nefarious acts but also take clear steps to exterminate it.
“The meeting stressed.the point that multinational states such as Nigeria must be built on respect for different human components making up the sovereign nation.
“The meeting re-emphasised the call for return to pure federalism which was the political arrangement leaders of the nation endorsed by leaders of the nation at independence. This will allow various nations in the country to take proper control of their affairs including security.
“The meeting urged Obas and traditional leaders of Yorubaland not to hesitate to invite any of the groups listed above in the event of any threat to the security of every Yorubaman by invading groups anywhere in our land.
“The strategic meeting of leaders was buoyed with presence of leaders outside the self – determination leaders such as Mr Yinka Odumakin, Gbonka Gboyega Adejumo, Bashorun Akin Osuntokun Ogbeni Sola Lawal and Chief Olumuyiwa Okunowo.”