By Our Editors
Obviously unsated over the growing insecurity in his state in particular and the country in general, Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, has asked the federal government to allow Nigerians carry licenced guns to defend themselves.
Ishaku said this recently when 15 local government chairmen of the state paid him a condolence visit after the burial of one of them who was kidnapped and subsequently killed by gunmen.
He lamented the worsening state of insecurity and added that the situation
had gone to its lowest ebb and should be corrected.
He said “If we cannot be able to provide security for our citizens, then allow all the citizens to buy AK-47, because if everybody is licenced to have AK-47, I swear nobody will come to your house and if he does, then it depends on who is faster.
This Newspaper also recall that his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom had previously appealed to the Federal Government to allow responsible Nigerians bear arms to defend themselves. According to him, there is nothing sinister about his call because the safety of the lives of law-abiding citizens has come under serious threat explaining that all he was asking for was a review of existing laws to accommodate current security realities.
No doubt , Nigeria is facing one of its worst security crisis in recent years .Amnesty International had reported that between January and August 2020, more than 1,100 people have been killed in rural areas across several states of northern Nigeria.Bandits are threatening to overrun the north west and north central while kidnappings is the new normal in most parts of country .
However, in the considered opinion of this Newspaper, while we understand the frustrations of the Taraba and Benue governors, we totally reject the call for responsible Nigerians to bear arms and our reasons are not far- fetched .
Come to think of it , what’s the definition of a responsible Nigerian? Like many noble policies which were abused, this will certainly be prone to abuses and may aggravate the already bad security situation in the country.
Regrettably, in a country where elections can best be described as theaters of war, arms in more hands in Nigeria will turn elections scenes into a full scale bloodbath. We cannot afford to take that risk .
It is argued that the worsening insecurity in the country is traceable to a proliferation of small and light arms in the country. According to a United Nations Development Programme ( UNDP) reports, there are over 8 million illicit small and light arms in west Africa . We believe Nigeria has a sizable number of these illicit small andLight arms. We strongly believe there is a nexus between proliferation of weapons in the country and insecurity.
Indeed , in advanced countries like the United States , the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives Americans the right to bear arms, and three-in-ten American adults personally own a gun.
However, accounting to reports , gun violence – from big-city murders to mass shootings – has spurred debate in Congress and state legislatures over proposals to limit Americans’ access to firearms. Counting murders and suicides, nearly 40,000 people died of gun-related violence in the United States in 2017, the highest annual total in decades.
Besides, if advanced countries like the United States can have so much casualties because of arms in so many people’s hands, what will happen in a developing country like Nigeria already plagued by security challenges.
It is from this perspective, that we call on the federal government to totally reject this call as in our opinion, it is an open invitation to anarchy .We should not create new problems in trying to solve a particular nagging challenge.
We strongly believe that with the right political will, the nation can surmount her security challenges. Like we had previously canvassed on this page, the time for state police has come as we strongly believe it will go a long way in solving the perceived security challenges. We also call on the government to fund the police force as they hold the key to solving insecurity in the country. Furthermore, it is our contention that Investing in technology, funding of the police and summoning the political will can drastically reduce insecurity in the country.
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