• Asks South East gov, Ohanaeze to emulate ex-soldier’s courage
• APC, PDP fight over statement
Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka; Romanus Ugwu; Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has tasked the South-East governors and the leadership of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo to emulate Lt. Gen. Danjuma by summoning the courage to speak boldly about the failure of the government to protect the citizens.
Reacting to Danjuma’s statements calling on victims of herdsmen attacks to defend themselves, IPOB said though belated, it was still heartwarming that the retired army general from the Middle Belt had woken up to the reality of the condition of Nigeria as a failed state.
In a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, the group said the senseless killings by the herdsmen would have been averted had the nation listened to its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, four years ago.
The statement read in part: “Today, what the supreme leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu said in 2014 is being re-echoed across the political landscape of Nigeria by no other than the very influential Lt. Gen. T. Y. Danjuma, who can be rightly classified as part of the northern ruling elite.
“Every categorical statement, prediction and utterance of our leader has come to pass. What is happening before our eyes today was foretold by our leader many years back and had those in powers 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 T. Y. 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 T. Y. Danjuma from the Middle Belt have woken up to the reality of the failed state that Nigeria has become, hopefully, so will South-East governors, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and PANDEF do in the coming months, assuming they will borrow a leaf from Danjuma and have the courage to speak the truth as boldly as Danjuma has done.
“Going by their previous slavish antecedents, it remains doubtful they will ever do so because of their lowly status in the affairs of Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have clashed over Danjuma’s call that Nigerians should defend themselves against killer herdmen.
While the opposition party said the call was a glaring evidence of the failure of President Buhari’s administration, the ruling party condemned it saying it was an invitation to anarchy.
According to Bolaji Abdullahi, the ruling party spokesperson: “My take on it is very clear. He accused the military of being partisan and I cannot comment on it because the military is more than capable of responding to that.
“But, my response on his call that people should take up arms and defend themselves is to say that such statement is very wrong. It is a call to anarchy and we are not in support of it. If the security forces are not doing well, we have the responsibility to call on them to do more.
“If we suspect that they have abandoned their roles, we have the responsibility to request more from them. But for him to tell people to take up arms and defend them is condemnable and call to anarchy. We are not in support of it and I feel that someone of his calibre should not be making that kind of statement,” he said.
But the APC in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said Danjuma’s statement has justified its stand that the APC-led administration was grossly incompetent and deceitful.
According to him, the fact that citizens across the country are resorting to self-defence is clear indication that Nigerians have completely lost faith in the President Buhari-led Federal Government.
“It is instructive to recall that former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida, both former military leaders, army generals and patriots, had earlier raised the issue of unabating bloodletting and pogrom in our country under the APC and the Buhari Presidency.
“Painfully, the APC-controlled Federal Government has not only failed in finding solution, but is also contending with allegations of conspiracy and acts that are believed to have emboldened attacks against innocent Nigerians. Nigerians are no longer feeling secured in their land.”
But Abdullahi dismissed the PDP’s statement describing the ruling party as grossly incompetent and deceitful as mere rubbish.
“We are not going to be responding to the same comment from the PDP. Their spokesperson is immature. We are not expecting anything less from a man who opens his mouth and talks anyhow,” Bolaji said.