For General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (rtd), things are no longer at ease. Taciturn and somehow apolitical, Danjuma hardly makes his views known on many national issues nor openly participates in politics. He always keeps to himself.

This time around, Theophilus Danjuma is no longer comfortable. He is worried. He has witnessed the horrific killings or ethnic cleansing going on not only in his home state of Taraba, but equally in many other states in the counntry. He is fury. He is indignant. He has decided to speak up. He would no longer keep quiet.

 Addressing the maiden convocation of Taraba State University in Jalingo, on Saturday, Danjuma, former Chief of Army Staff and Defence Minister, told Nigerians to no longer sit on the fence, but to rise up and defend themselves against killers in the country. He said that there was an attempt at ethnic cleansing in many rural communities in Nigeria.

Danjuma who was particularly irked by the many killings by the so-called Fulani herdsmen in his home state of Taraba, declared that “Taraba is a mini Nigeria with diverse ethnic groups living together in peace. The peace in this state is under assault”, he declared. 

He continued, ” there is an attempt at ethnic cleansing in this state and of course, in some rural states in Nigeria. We must resist it. We must stop it. Every one of us must rise up and defend yourselves, otherwise Somalia will be a child’s play.

 “I urge every one of you to rise up, to defend yourselves, to defend your state. You have no other place to go”, Danjuma said.

Danjuma’s statement is an open indictment of the administration that has failed to defend or to protect its citizens, or rather, the administration that is even sponsoring the slaughtering of its citizens. 

For every one of us to resort to self help, as Danjuma has charged, means that the present federal government has failed, or rather that Nigeria no longer has any government. 

The main reason for the institution of  government, why men left the state of nature to bind themselves in goverment, according to political philosophers, is for the protection of lives and property of citizens.  But where the government has failed to do this, in the words of Aristotle, its citizens are justified in overthrowing it.

In a democracy, such as we presently have in Nigeria, we can only do this through the ballot box, and with our permanent voters card (PVC). Let us get ready to exercise our franchise wisely in 2019. 

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