Presidential aide cautions against ‘unguarded remarks’
The Presidency has appealed to prominent Nigerians with national influence to refrain from public declarations that could inflame emotions and threaten national security.
In an apparent reaction to the comments credited to former Minister of Defence, Lieutenant-General Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), where he enjoined Nigerians to defend themselves in the facing of the incessant attacks on communities by herdsmen nationwide, the Presidency said It was “very worried” that criminal gangs will feel justified in defying legal and democratic institutions, and authority of legitimately elected democratic government if unrestrained pronouncements were constantly made.
The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity , Garba Shehu, in a statement yesterday in Abuja, contended that silence could be dignified, but sometimes it could be misinterpreted and exploited.
He said: “It is both shocking and scary to hear the recent comments by a senior citizen calling for Nigerians to defend themselves.” He commended the military for its efforts to maintain peace and stability despite “being pulled in various directions by elements determined to destabilise the country and government for their selfish reasons.”
She continued: “Which country would survive if its citizens rise against its organised, trained and equipped military?“We advise former leaders to take advantage of the various fora where people with a history of national security can offer advice to the government without resorting to the exploitation of emotional sentiments.
“The civil war motto, To Keep Nigeria One Is A Task That Must Be Done, rings very timely at this time in our nation’s history. We must be careful to avoid the mess that destroyed other African countries like Somalia.”
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