Nigerian Military Reacts As Governor Matawalle Asks Residents To Get Guns Against Bandits

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The Nigerian Military has condemned the decision of the Zamfara State Government authorizing pp its residents to take up arms against bandits in the state.

Naija News earlier reported that the commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Magaji Dosara, in a statement on behalf of the government on Sunday asked the Commissioner of Police to issue a gun license to those eligible for it. Ibrahim said that the government has resolved to take further measures to deal with the recent escalating attacks, kidnapping, and criminal levies enforced on innocent communities. The government said it had directed individuals to prepare and obtain guns to defend themselves against the bandits, adding that the state commissioner of police has been directed to issue licenses to all those who qualify and are willing to obtain such guns to defend themselves. Reacting to the development, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, on Monday said the Zamfara Governor lacks the powers to issue such directive to residents. He also noted the Attorney General of the Federation is responsible to interpret the constitution and the laws. Irabor said “I do not also think that the governor has the power to instruct the commissioner of police to issue licenses, because the commissioner of police does not have the powers to issue licenses.” Similarly, former Army spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman (rtd), condemned Matawalle’s directive during an Arise TV interview. He said, “The security policy directive left so much questions than answers for quite a number of reasons “First and foremost, I think the most persistent one is the issue of calling on Zamfara State citizens to arm themselves against the bandits and kidnappers. “I am not a legal expert but with my little knowledge of the law, I think this issue is a recipe for disaster for quite a number of reasons. One, the governor said that the commissioner of police will issue licence. When you look at the powers of the state commissioner of police to issue a lincence, I think it is just Dane guns and you know that the kidnappers and bandits have graduated from AK-47 to more sophisticated weapons like rocket-propelled grenades and the rest. “So, not even the Inspector-General of Police has the powers to issue an AK-47 rifle which is the primary weapon the bandits use. So, automatically it would not serve the purpose if you ask them (residents) to be armed with lesser weapons. You know, it’s just like somebody confronting you with an AK-47 and you’re using a catapult against such persons. “Secondly, now that the political atmosphere is fully charged, in the next two months or thereabouts, campaigns for the general election will go into full swing and with so many arms and ammunition in the hands of individuals, you can understand that it may be hijacked. And we know that there are various remote and immediate causes of the issues of security in Zamfara State and one of them is the political issue.”

This article was originally published on Naija News

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