The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has criticised the Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (retd.), over his utterance that Nigerians ought to defend themselves against terrorists and bandits.

According to the NBA, the statement by Magashi is an indication of failure on the part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

This was contained in a statement issued by the NBA National President, Olumide Akpata, shortly after an emergency meeting of the Warri branch of the association held on Friday, February 19.

CityNews Nigeria gathered that the meeting was convened to unravel the circumstances surrounding the murder of a pregnant Warri-based lawyer, Nkiru Agbasu, who was reportedly shot dead by yet-to-be-identified gunmen along Warri-Sapele Highway in Delta State on Wednesday.

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Akpata stated that the “NBA will not take the incident lightly with anybody because a threat to one is a threat to all”.

“This is not a case that can be swept under the carpet”, he said, insisting that “the police must unravel the perpetrators of the heinous crime with a view to punishing them accordingly”.

On the call for self-defence by the minister, the NBA Chairman said, “Is he (the Minister) calling on Nigerians to defend themselves with bare hands? It is a sign of failure. It is a sign that we are all in trouble.”

Also speaking at the meeting, the Chairman of the Warri branch of NBA, Mr. Emmanuel Uti, stated that the Branch was grieved while the entire members have been mourning since the unfortunate incident.

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He raised the alarm that “security in Delta State has deteriorated to an extent that lawyers and other professionals are scared to move around freely”.

He said, “Security has failed woefully in the country. There is a need to rejig security. There is an urgent need for renewed security architecture. Warri, Delta, in particular, is tensed up because of insecurity as manifested in the daily reports of killings and kidnappings all over the place. NBA Warri will pursue this case to a logical conclusion.”