Rtd General opens up on type of arms Police can authorise citizens to carry between AK47, others
General Sani Usman, a former Army spokesman, has warned that it would be devastating if residents in the North West were permitted to arm themselves in self-defense against bandits and kidnappers.
The former army spokesperson, who made an appearance on Arise TV, was responding to the governor of Zamfara State’s recent call for locals to arm themselves and be prepared to defend themselves in the event of an attack by terrorists.
Usman explained his reasoning by stating that the state commissioner of police can only license Dane firearms for gaming because they lack the authority to license even the AK-47, which he said is the least weapon these criminals employ.
Secondly, Usman pointed out that it would be bad to arm civilians with firearms at this time in the nation’s history during a contentious political climate and added that the notion might be hijacked by politicians.
In regards to permitting eligible people of the State to obtain guns for self-defense, the Zamfara State Government had stated that it is still in discussion with the Federal Government and the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
The Commissioner of Information, Hon. Ibrahim Magaji Dosara; and the Commissioner of Security and Internal Affairs, Hon. DIG Mamman Tsafe, assured journalists that the arrangement would be ideal while speaking to them at the State Radio House in Gusau, the state capital.
Although the Federal Government has since banned providing licenses for individual gun ownership, the commissioners explained that the insecurity situation in the State has grown uncontrollable, therefore the request.
They assert that the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s constitution provides that only the president and the inspector general of police have the authority to decide which types of weapons would receive permits.
“I can understand the concern and frustration of the Governor of Zamfara State and several other well-meaning people about the security situation not only in Zamfara State but in the whole of the North West geographical zone as well as other parts of the country. It is not surprising actually that the government has come out with this policy directive.
“But the security policy directive left move questions for quite a number of reasons. But the most persistent one is the issue of calling on Zamfara citizens or indigenes to arm themselves against the bandits and kidnappers.
“I’m not a legal expert but with my little knowledge of the law, I think this issue is a site for disaster for quite a number of reasons,
“The governor said the Commissioner of Police will issue licences but when you look at the powers of the Commissioner to issue licences, I think it’s just Dane guns and only for games and we know that bandits and kidnappers have graduated from AK47 to most sophisticated weapons.
“You can say rockets and all the rest. So not even the Inspector General of Police has the power to issue licence for AK-47 rifle which is the primary weapon the bandits use. So automatically it won’t serve them if you ask them to arm themselves with lesser weapons.
“It’s like somebody confronting you with AK-47 and you’re using catapult against such person. Given the time we’re now that the political atmosphere is highly charged, in the next two months the political campaign for the next elections will go into full swing and with so many arms and ammunition in the hands of individuals you’ll understand that it may likely be hijacked.”