General Magashi said this Thursday in Abuja at the seventh edition of the ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Media Team.

The Minister of Defence, retired Major-General Bashir Magashi, has said that Nigeria is “bleeding” due to self-interest and other primordial considerations of the elite.
General Magashi said this Thursday in Abuja at the seventh edition of the ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Media Team.

The minister said quite a number of political, ethnic and religious leaders were exploiting the social division for their personal gains.

General Magashi had told reporters yesterday that Nigeria lacked a national consensus, common comprehensive understanding and the interpretation of what national security is because of such divisiveness.

But some pundits and regional groups have cautioned the federal government to stop beating about the bush and call all those behind the insecurity in Nigeria by their names.

According to the defence minister, “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 elite 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, like 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, A.K.A resource control, secession and regional self-determination, define the potent threats to the national security in our country,” he said.

According to him, government had come up with a comprehensive report on the identified enemies and taken a position, which he said he did not want to pre-empt.

“We have made a comprehensive brief as far as the security of this country is concerned and the methods we want to use in ensuring that we strategically and tactically get rid of all enemies of this country, be it political enemy, religious enemy, ethnic enemies and all the political enemies of this country.

“We have made a comprehensive report or research on that and we have taken our position, which I don’t want to pre-empt here, but certainly, we are coming back with that,” he said.