Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has said the call by former Defence Minister, General Theophilus Danjuma, who at the weekend tasked Nigerians to protect themselves from rampaging armed bandits who he alleged have military backing, was misunderstood.
“There is a misrepresentation of what the former minister said. He did not tell anybody to take up arms. He only said that people should protect themselves. Of course, you know that self preservation is the first law of nature, Ortom said Tuesday.
“You can’t just wait in your house and allow someone to come and kill you. You can resist the person, but you don’t necessarily need to have arms. I think that that was what the minister was saying. There is need for people to arise to defend themselves not necessarily using weapons that are banned.
“You can use a stick and disarm someone. Some years ago, I was able to disarm armed robbers with seven AK 47 without anything. I think that is the kind of thing he is trying to say. Nigerians should rise up to do this. Security matters are not just left in the hands of security men, it requires every one of us to put our heads together and be courageous to be able to surmount it.”
Ortom who insisted that he was committed to implement the Anti-Open Grazing law to make provision for ranching, said that ranching remained the global best practice and that Nigeria should not be an exception especially as land was decreasing because of increase in population.