The Minister of Defence , Mansur Dan - Ali, said Danjuma ’ s comment was “highly uncalled for , ” and an invitation to anarchy , asking Nigerians to report any member of the armed forces suspected to be colluding with herdsmen.

Dan - Ali spoke in a statement by his Public Relations Officer , Col . Tukur Gusau .
The statement read in part , “ On a recent comment by one of the elder statesmen alleging that the military colludes with bandits to kill people and calling on them to rise and defend themselves , this is highly uncalled for and it is an invitation to anarchy . It should be disregarded by well- meaning Nigerians.

“The Armed Forces are professional in discharging their constitutional mandate . Therefore , if anyone has evidence of wrongdoing or dereliction of duty against our troops , he should bring forward such evidence through the appropriate channels for necessary action. ”

Also, the Nigerian Army on Sunday said the comment by Danjuma was unfortunate, noting that the Taraba State Government had refused to cooperate with the army in the ongoing Exercise Ayem Akpatuma.

The Director , Army Public Relations , Brig. Gen . Texas Chukwu , said the state government failed to cooperate with the troops because of “the neutrality of the army in the herdsmen - farmers crisis. ”
Chukwu said , “The army views the statement made by the former army chief as most unfortunate. While we will not want to take issue with the elder statesman, certain facts need to be clearly stated in the interest of the Taraba people.

“There is the conduct of Exercise Ayem Akpatuma by troops to curb the menace of the herdsmen - farmers conflict and other criminal activities in the North -Central region. The army personnel have had to pay the ultimate price for the security in Taraba State . An officer of the army was beheaded on March 16 in Takum , Taraba State, by criminal elements.

“At the inception of the exercise , the Taraba State Government did not cooperate with the army due to the army’ s stance to remain absolutely neutral in the herdsmen - farmers crisis. The army will continue to remain as such. The army advises the people of Taraba State to continue in their day - to - day activities and be law-abiding.

“Anyone caught with arms and ammunition will be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the land. ”

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