Angered by the spate of killings in the country and the helplessness of Nigerians, former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (retired), called on Nigerians to defend themselves.
Speaking at the 10th anniversary of the Taraba State University, Jalingo, on Saturday, Danjuma who reigned as Chief of Army Staff between 1976-1979, stressed that it was pointless depending on the armed forces for safety.
He said the armed forces were involved in the killings and should not be trusted.
He described the killings as ethnic cleansing which must be stopped.
His words: “You must rise to protect yourselves from these people. If you depend on the armed forces for protection, you will all die one by one.
“The ethnic cleansing must stop now, otherwise, Somalia will be a child’s play. I ask everyone of you to be on the alert and defend your country, defend your territory, defend your state because you have nowhere else to go.
“The armed forces are not neutral. They are conniving with the armed bandits that are killing people.”
He said that it was unfortunate that the bandits killing the people of the state were trying to destroy the beautiful culture of the people.
It would be recalled that Taraba State has been under severe attacks of herdsmen.
The attacks had led to the loss of lives and property and efforts to stop the killings have not yielded fruits.
The situation is the same in states like Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa and Kogi.
Although the Presidency had deployed security personnel to some of the areas, the attacks have continued to go on.
Speaking at the occasion too, Governor Darius Ishaku said the growth of the university within a short period was impressive.
He promised that the state government would continue to support it in order to make tertiary education available.
He said, “The institution has made it possible for many Taraba residents to access tertiary education.”
The Vice Chancellor of the school, Prof. Vincent Tenebe, praised the state government for its support.
He said the support of the government was indeed responsible for the continued growth of the school.
He called on the graduating students to represent the school well anywhere they might find themselves.
He disclosed that 5,900 students from five sets were graduating.
Some prominent Nigerians were honoured with doctorate degrees.
They are Danjuma; Senator Jeremiah Useni; Governor Ishaku; Chairman, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Dr. Tony Elumelu, and former Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro.