By Fatai Abdullahi
The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, has said a statement accusing some traditional rulers in the North West of colluding with bandits was not meant to discredit or disrespect them at all
This was contained in a statement on Sunday from the spokesman of the minister, Colonel Tukur Gusau.
It said, “the attention of the Honourable Minister of Defence was drawn to publications in some media organisations alleging that he accused some traditional rulers in the states affected by banditry of conniving with bandits.”
According to him , “For the avoidance of doubt, the statement was not meant to discredit our highly revered traditional rulers in the states affected.”
“However, the statement was meant to serve as a warning to some community leaders and their surrogates.”
‘’This is based on security reports available to the Ministry of Defence and cannot be divulged to the general public,’’ said the statement.
It said, “The Ministry of Defence wants to once again assure all law abiding citizens of the commitment of the Armed Forces of Nigeria towards protecting lives and properties of Nigerians.
Last Tuesday, the Minister of Defence Mansur Dan-Ali had said some traditional leaders were among those helping bandits with intelligence to carry out kidnappings and compromise military operations in the North West.
The statement said ,“In spite of the concerted efforts of the Armed Forces and other security agencies some unpatriotic persons including highly placed traditional rulers in the areas were identified as helping the bandits with intelligence to perpetuate their nefarious actions or to compromise military operations.