The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, on Monday, faulted the Zamfara State Government over its directive to residents of the state to bear arms to defend themselves against terrorists.
He stated he was yet to understand the rationale behind such a wrong call.
Irabor spoke at the opening of the Joint Exercise for the National Defence College and War Colleges of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, code named “Exercise Grand Nationale,” in Abuja.
“I believe that, in my view, it is not the right way to go,” he said.
While saying that the Federal Government, through the Attorney General, will look at the details of the position of the Zamfara State Government, Irabor added, “If what I read is true, I do not also think that the governor has the power to instruct the commissioner of police to issue licences, because the Commissioner of Police does not have the powers to issue licences.”
Meanwhile, the Zamfara State government has insisted that self-defence remains the best option to address the issue of insecurity in the state.
The state Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Dosara, spoke while featuring on , a current affairs programme on on Monday.
Dosara said, “We are planning to give position to people to protect themselves because it is allowed in a situation of war like ours.
“We have five local governments where these issues are deteriorating and it is the reason why we said ok, since we have tried so many ways to improve the security which is being sabotaged by conflict entrepreneurs, the best thing now is to allow people to defend themselves, especially on their farms because it is the rainy season and the people need to go back to provide food for their families and the government has been doing everything to ensure that it secure lives of the people and their property. “
Taking a position on the issue, the Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu said the statement only confirmed the pervasive loss of confidence in the current security arrangement in the country.
Akeredolu said this in a statement titled, “Establishment of state police is the solution,” issued by his senior Special Assistant on Special Duties and Strategy, Dr Doyin Odebowale, on Monday. The statement read in part, “It is a sad commentary on the increasing inability and impotence of the Zamfara State Government, and other states, to protect their citizens in the wake of relentless and mindless assaults by terrorists and bandits.
“It suggests a total lack of trust between that state government and the Federal Government on one hand, and the helpless and hopeless situation in which the people have found themselves concerning the security of lives, on the other.
“The stark reality confronting the people of Zamfara leaves the government with no esoteric option than to lean heavily on the current arrangement.”
Akeredolu commended the boldness of Governor Bello Matawalle, in his bid to confront the security challenges in his state, adopting a pragmatic approach.
Meanwhile, the Aare Ona-kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, has however expressed support for the gun licence directive by Matawalle.
Adams hailed the directive, saying the decision was necessary to strengthen the internal security of the state.
In a statement made available to journalists by Gbonnka Aare-Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Gboyega Adejumo, Adams also urged state governors from the South West to take a cue from the development as activities of bandits and kidnappers are fast spreading to the region while such could no longer be tolerated.