Yemi Adedey, Abuja
Yakubu Danjuma, a retired Lieutenant General and former Chief of Army Staff in a rare outburst, has called on Nigerians to rise up and resist an attempt at ethnic cleansing in the country.
Danjuma, who was visibly enraged by the incidences of killings across the country accused the Nigerian Armed Forces of being partisan and colluding with armed bandits to perpetrated carnage across the length and breadth of the country.
He spoke in Jalingo at the maiden convocation ceremony of Taraba State University and said Nigerians must be alert to defend themselves and their country, pointedly accusing the military of complicity in the killing of farmers by herdsmen.
According to him, “When I arrived this arena, I saw rich cultural display, and I was amazed at the rich cultural heritage of our people. Taraba is a mini Nigeria with diverse ethnic groups living together relatively peacefully. But the peace in this state is under assault.”
Continuing he stated: “There is an attempt at ethnic cleansing in the state and of course, in some riverine and rural states in Nigeria. We must resist it. We must stop it. Every one of us must rise up.
“Our Armed Forces are not neutral. They collude with the armed bandits to kill people, kill Nigerians. The Armed Forces guide their movements. They cover them. If you are depending on the Armed Forces to stop the killings, you will all die one by one.”
Danjuma who donated N100m to the university’s endowment fund enjoined Nigerians to rise up to defend themselves, saying Somalia would be a child’s play if they failed to act.
“This ethnic cleansing must stop in Taraba State and other rural states of Nigeria, otherwise Somalia will be a child’s play. I ask every one of you to be alert and defend your country, defend your territory and defend your state. Defend yourselves because you have no other place to go…God bless our country,” he said.
Danjuma’s comment is coming on the heels of allegations of complicity raised against Army personnel involved in Exercise Ayema Kpatuma (Exercise Cat Race) by communities in the Southern zone of Taraba State, particularly in Ussa and Takum Local Government Areas including Yangtu Developmental Area.