The Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, says Nigerians should not show cowardice in the face of attacks from bandits.
Major General Magashi’s comment comes a few hours after armed men attacked Government Science College Kagara in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, killing a student and abducting many others.
Speaking with newsmen after the screening of service chiefs by the House of Representatives on Wednesday, Magashi said security is not the sole responsibility of the military, adding that Nigerians must join the fight against bandits and other miscreants threatening the nation’s peace.
Magashi who does not support the calls for legalization to have civilians bear firearms in the country, however, noted that citizens need to show that they are not afraid of bandits.
“Well, is it not the responsibility of the military alone? It is the responsibility of everybody to be alert and ensure safety when necessary.
“We shouldn’t be cowards. Sometimes the bandits come with about three rounds of ammunition and when they fire shots everybody will run. In our younger days, we stand to fight any form of aggression.
“Why should people run away from minor, minor aggressions? We should stand and face them. If these people know that the people have the competence and capability to defend themselves, they will run away,” the minister told newsmen.
Mr Magashi also assured Nigerians that all abducted students would be rescued as soon as possible.
He said the service chiefs would swing into action swiftly as to track down the kidnappers and rescue those who were abducted.
According to him, the government will replicate the strategy used in freeing the Kankara schoolboys to obtain success in freeing the Kagara students and staff.
The minister said: ”We have demonstrated our ability to take on the challenge. We have done it in Katsina; when children were kidnapped. Within two days, we got them back. Hopefully, this time, we will do the same (thing) to get these captives back. We are planning.
“We have not got feedback on the activities going on in Niger State. But I am sure that before the end of the day, we will be given a full brief on what is going on in Niger State.”