Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, a former minister of external affairs and director-general of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the military to halt campaign rallies ongoing in the country.
Akinyemi, in his interview with the Vanguard, said the rallies present soft targets to terrorists menacing the country as recent reports of likely attacks confirm.
“These are inconvenient times for Nigeria because it’s election time and campaigns have started.
“All these one million, two and five million-man-march we see all over the country are soft targets for terrorists and we know”, he said.
The former minister under the Ibrahim Babangida military presidency said the ‘existential danger’ facing the country must be of better consideration than people’s rights to assemble.
“We should stop talking about rights, when we have existential danger to the republic and that’s why I said, the NSA should, after clearance with the president who should be back on seat, call in the politicians and read the riot out to them.
“I’m not interested in your rights to assembly, if you are presenting soft targets.
“This is a question of balancing rights with responsibilities. We don’t have enough policemen to provide you (politicians) with protection.
“We shouldn’t be afraid. The Americans, Britain have taken the courage to tell us what they have heard and seen, its for us to package our own activities to make sure that we are not asleep,” he said.