Plateau Attacks: Why Nigerians Can’t Be Allowed To Carry Arms Openly — COAS

While the development has elicited outcry in and outside the country, the Army Chief believes self-defence amounts to "anarchy". 

To address the attacks, the COAS says more troops have been deployed to Plateau.


The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja has dismissed calls for self-defence in the wake of attacks in Plateau. 

Over 195 persons died in the most recent attacks in the North-Central state with scores wounded.

While the development has elicited outcry in and outside the country, the Army Chief believes self-defence amounts to “anarchy”. 

“I do not support that. I think that is a call for anarchy,” he said on Sunday on Channels Television’s end-of-year programme “2023: Year Of Transition”.

According to him, the Nigerian Army can defend the country and as such, there is no need for self-defence.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Army Deploys More Troops To Plateau After Deadly Attacks

He also said as part of efforts to bolster security in the Plateau, more troops are being deployed to the area.

“I have reeled out our plans for 2024 for Plateau State.  The troops that we are deploying to Plateau, are on their way to Plateau now,” he said.

“This night or first light tomorrow, they should be on the Plateau. We are sending more equipment to enhance the efficiency of the troops.”

Over 50 villages were said to be affected by the attacks with President Bola Tinubu calling for a thorough probe.

The assaults have also drawn global criticism as the UN is urging the Federal Government to do a thorough probe into the incidents.

“I call on the Nigerian authorities to investigate this incident promptly, thoroughly, and independently, consistent with international human rights law, and to hold those responsible to account in fair trials,” UN rights chief Volker Turk said in a statement.

“The cycle of impunity fuelling recurrent violence must be urgently broken. The government should also take meaningful steps to address the underlying root causes and to ensure non-recurrence of this devastating violence.”

North-West and central Nigeria have been long terrorised by bandit militias operating from bases deep in forests and raiding villages to loot and kidnap residents for ransom.

Competition for natural resources between nomadic herders and farmers, intensified by rapid population growth and climate pressures, has also exacerbated social tensions and sparked violence