Katsina gov backs Ortom’s calls on weapons acquisition by Nigerians to fight insurgents

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

After a year, Katsina state Governor, Aminu Masari, finally joined call by his Benue state counterpart, Samuel Ortom, that Nigerian citizens should be allowed to arm themselves against insurgents in their domains.

Governor Ortom had last year August asked the federal government to allow “responsible” Nigerians to be in the possession of “sophisticated weapons” like AK-47.

The governor said while the law allows the possession of double barrel and dane guns, the duo are not sophisticated enough to confront criminals who are better armed.

He said if citizens are well armed, they can defend themselves when they are under attack by bandits.

He, however, said the policy should be backed by a strict legal framework to prevent illegal possession of arms by citizens.

“I am a practical man. I don’t theorize too much. We have seen what is happening. We appreciate our security agencies, they have done so much in trying to curb the menace of banditry but they have not been able to stop completely the killings that are going on and most times he these people come, they are armed and you are unarmed and so, you are bound to obey them and they take you as if you are a nobody,” Ortom said.

Meanwhile, Governor Masari today urged residents of the state in areas prone to activities of bandits to acquire weapons and defend themselves.

Masari in a statement by his media Aide, Abdu Labaran, noted that it is morally wrong for people to submit cheaply to the bandits without any attempt to defend themselves.

The governor said this during his visit to Jibia town to condole with families of 10 people who were recently crushed by operatives of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) through reckless driving.

According to him, security is everybody’s business, pointing out that it is not the responsibility of the government alone.

“It is the people’s meek submission that emboldens bandits to continue with their heinous activities with murderous frequency. “People must divorce their minds from the mistaken notion that security is government’s sole responsibility alone,” Masari said. Meanwhile, the governor assured that those killed by the Customs operatives would not die in vain.