We Know Enemies Of Nigeria – Defence Minister

The Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd), has revealed that the Federal Government has a comprehensive report on individuals fueling insurgency in country.

He said the government has identified the enemies of the country and taken decisions that would soon be made public.

The minister disclosed this on Thursday during the weekly ministerial briefing organized by the Presidential Communication Team.

The minister said the country was “bleeding” from ethno-religious tension generated by selfish political and religious elites in the country.

He said while incidents of domestic terrorism have reduced due to measures put in place by government, other problems arising from intolerance have heightened.

He cited the emergence of herders/farmers clashes, IPOB , bandits and others who see violence as a legitimate tool as the new threats to national security.

He said: “Make no mistakes that our nation is bleeding now. It is bleeding because of the self-interest and other primordial considerations underlying decisions, which quite a number of our elite; political, ethnic and religious, make it so. Such elites are quick to attribute blames to groups other than theirs.

“The whole idea is to exploit the social division for their political gains and it is because of this divisiveness that Nigeria lacks a national consensus or common comprehensive understanding and the interpretation of what national security is, e.g. Boko Haram, farmers/herders clashes, IPOB and other political associations that are coming up with different mandates and different concerns. All these can encourage groups to seek violence as a legitimate alternative.

“From here emerges a narrow vision of national identity and vision which threatens our country’s prospect of social cohesion and stability. This is why we’re seeing the rise of self- help syndrome, often endorsed by states and local elites seeking violence as a legitimate alternative.

“The rise in vigilantism and identity-based militia, who claim to be working for the political and ethno-religious emancipation of their people aka resource control, secession and regional self-determination, define the potent threats to the national security in our country.”

Magashi said the military would not be deterred  by the challenges but focused on eliminating all perceived threats.

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