Minister of defence Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd) has called on Nigerians to stand up to bandits.
Speaking with journalists in a video posted to Twitter by AIT, Magashi said Nigerians should show that they are not cowards by defending themselves.
He said the operations of bandits are sometimes carried out with a few rounds of ammunition to cause fear.
“It is the responsibility of everybody to keep alert and to find safety when necessary. But we shouldn’t be cowards,” he said.
“At times, the bandits will only come with about three rounds of ammunition, when they fire shots everybody runs.
“In our younger days, we stand to fight any aggression coming for us.
“I don’t know why people are running from minor things like that. They should stand and let these people know that even the villagers have the competency and capabilities to defend themselves.
“Our own duty is to ensure that no Nigerian is hurt, and we are capable of protecting the integrity of this nation and we’ll continue to do it even though we are so stretched.”
Commenting on whether the Nigeria government should permit citizens to carry arms, Magashi said, “Even in the developed countries, they are still debating on it, whether to continue or not.
“But I don’t advise Nigeria to start issuing firearms for personal use.”
The Magashi video was posted in the wake of attack on a school in Kagara, Niger State where 27 students and 15 others were abducted by gunmen.