Major-General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Retd.), Minister for Defence

Insecurity: Defence Minister’s comment a sign of leadership failure ─NBA

*Is he (Minister for Defence) calling on Nigerians to defend themselves with bare hands? It is a sign of failure… and we will not take the incident lightly with anybody because a threat to one is a threat to all, says Nigerian Bar Association

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In response to his earlier remark on the citizens’ resorting to self-help amid the degenerating insecurity in the country, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has lambasted Major-General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Retd.), Minister for Defence, over his call on Nigerians not to be “cowards”, but to defend themselves against gun-wielding, marauding bandits and kidnappers.

ConsumerConnect reports the Minister said: “I don’t know why people are running away from minor, minor, minor things like that.

“They should stand. Let these people know that even the villagers have the competence and capability to defend themselves.”

The NBA, nonetheless, described such a carefree call “a sign of failure” on the part of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

The legal body urged the country’s Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to investigate all the circumstances surrounding the murder of Nkiru Agbasu, a pregnant Warri-based lawyer, reportedly shot dead by yet-to-be identified gunmen Wednesday, February 17 along Warri-Sapele Highway in Delta State.

The NBA made the call shortly after an emergency meeting of the Warri Branch of the association held Friday to deliberate over the killing of one of its own, The Punch report said.

Mr. Olumide Akpata, National President of NBA, represented at the meeting by Mr. John Aikpokpo-Martins, Association’s First Vice-President, said that the “NBA will not take the incident lightly with anybody because a threat to one is a threat to all.”

The NBA President stated: “This is not a case that can be swept under the carpet…. The police must unravel the perpetrators of the heinous crime with a view to punishing them accordingly.”

Mr. Emmanuel Uti, Chairman of the Warri Branch of NBA, at the meeting noted that the Branch was grieved, while the entire members have been mourning since the unfortunate incident.

Uti raised the alarm that “security in Delta State has deteriorated to an extent that lawyers and other professionals are scared to move around freely.

“Security has failed woefully in the country. There is need to rejig security. There is urgent need for renewed security architecture.”

The NBA Warri Branch Chairman said: “Warri, Delta, in particular is tensed up because of insecurity as manifested in the daily reports of killings and kidnappings all over the place. NBA Warri will pursue this case to a logical conclusion.”

Of the Defence Minister’s call for self-defence, Uti stated: “Is he (the Minister) calling on Nigerians to defend themselves with bare hands? It is a sign of failure. It is a sign that we are all in trouble.”

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