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Magashi defends Buhari’s ‘language they understand’ remark, threatens illegal arm bearers

Magashi defends Buhari’s ‘language they understand’ remark, threatens illegal arm bearers
July 07
16:23 2021

Bashir Magashi, minister of defence, has defended President Muhammadu Buhari over his stance to deal with insurrectionists, bandits and insurgents “in the language they understand”.

The president had first made the comment while condemning the attacks on government facilities in the south-east.

He had cited a reference to the civil war experience and threatened to treat those “bent on destroying” Nigeria “through insurrection” in “a language they understand”.

The statement ignited a controversy which culminated in Twitter removing the comment from his account.

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The federal government responded afterwards by suspending the operations of the microblogging platform in Nigeria.

Buhari later used the reference again while ordering the military and police to “be ruthless” against the bandits terrorising the north-west region of the country.

Shedding more light on the meaning of the phrase while speaking at the state house, Abuja, on Wednesday, the defence minister said: “I don’t think there is anything wrong to get rid of an enemy if he also wants to get rid of you and that is what the president is saying.

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“You cannot own a weapon illegally and be allowed to stay alive because that weapon can be used against you.

“We will take on anybody who is carrying arms. Nigeria will not allow that to continue to happen. That is our message.”

Magashi also said persons causing insecurity in parts of the country would be brought to book as the law will take its course against them.

“If you commit an offence, you will be arrested, tried and if you are guilty you will be punished. But for anybody picking arms against a soldier, you know what that means and we will also treat him according to the law,” he added.

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