MINISTER of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (retd), has said the military agencies will not sit and watch anyone shooting at somebody or destroy the country, as he asked for more time to bring the security situation under control.
Speaking over worsening insecurity and the appointment of new service chiefs, the minister said nobody can tell when the current war against insurgents wreaking havoc on the country will end. After he revalidated his membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at Galandasi, Gwale Local Government Area of Kano State, General Magashi told newsmen that: “nobody can predict anything” because it was not a conventional war in which the strength and weakness of the enemy could be established.
While acknowledging the cooperation of the members of public in providing useful information to assist in the military operations, the minister said the ongoing battle against criminals could not be faced by the military alone.
He said: “To be honest, the role of the armed forces and other security agencies have really been very encouraging and we implore Nigerians to encourage us to do more.
“But if you are only waiting for success, nobody can predict anything, especially with the kind of war we are fighting. The new concept of everything is not so conventional as to predict that you can beat the enemy at your own pace.
“The only way a conventional warfare is fought is to know the strength of your enemy, his weaknesses and compare with what you have. Then, you can certainly predict whether or not you can win the war.
“But the most important thing is the ability of the people that you are fighting for to appreciate the effort the military is putting in and encourage them to do better.
“Today, everybody seems to rely on success, without corresponding interest to assist the military. However, I think Nigerians are getting it better. They know that the military cannot do it alone and they are doing all their best to see that they assist us in whatever manner — intellectually, materially and anything that will make us to get out of this thing, especially, in the area of intelligence.
“We want to know what these people are up to; we want to know what they are doing so that we can predict where to hit them hard. “I am the minister of defence and the defence of this country is entirely my responsibility. We have the mandate to ensure that the lives and properties of people are protected.
“I will also refer you to the promise Mr President made to Nigerians in 2015, that is, on security, economy and corruption. If in the process, the policy has had some people who think that they should be given independence to do what they want to do in order to bring this country down, so be it.
“We cannot sit and then you shoot at somebody and we allow you to go because somebody thinks that you are one that can kill and go away. Please, give us time; we are in a state where we want everybody to look up and see what he can do for this country, not what the country can do for you,” he said.
On the APC membership revalidation exercise, the minister said it was in the right direction, as it would give new members who defected to the party opportunity as well as strengthen the APC ahead of the 2023 elections.