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Heightened Attacks: Group seeks arms licence for adults without crime records

By Ernest Nzor, Abuja
23 January 2023   |   3:26 am
civil rights advocacy group Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) yesterday, called for the liberalisation of AK-47 license for adults without criminal records.

Inspector-General of Police Usman Alkali Baba PHOTO: Twitter

As attacks by non-state actors heighten few weeks to the general elections, civil rights advocacy group Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) yesterday, called for the liberalisation of AK-47 license for adults without criminal records.

HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said it is important for States and the Federal Government to stem the tides of kidnapping including the new dimension where marauders raze down buildings after slaughtering innocent citizens.

The group reiterated its call for the formation of National Guard to support existing security apparatus.

According to reports, no fewer than 19 persons were kidnapped in the last 24 hours, with relatives of the victims and residents of the communities crying out to security agencies for help.

For instance, six pupils were kidnapped in Nasarawa, a Catholic catechist was whisked away in Kaduna, a monarch, his wife, children and others were also abducted in Taraba in the same manner. 15 were abducted; three killed in Edo, Imo Council Chairman shot, abducted with two friends whilst his residence was razed in the Imoko community in Arondizuogu.

This came less than a week after the country home of the spokesperson of the Coalition of United Political Parties, Ugochinyere Imo, was attacked at Akokwa community in the Ideato North Council, with three persons killed and about 33 vehicles razed.

Commenting, Onwubiko said: “The simultaneous attacks and kidnappings nationwide is ominous, especially weeks to the general elections. This undesirable trend must be stopped immediately. State governments and the Federal Government must come up with proactive measures to stem the tides of violent kidnappers including the new dimension introduced where the dark-hearted criminals burn the residence of their victims in broad day light. The anarchy going on in the country must be stopped forthwith.
“Concerned about the multifarious security challenges confronting the nation notorious amongst which is kidnapping, banditry and terrorism, some governors have taken the initiative to set up security outfits owned and funded by their respective state governments. The Amotekun Corps operational in the Southwest, Ebube Agu in the Southeast and the Benue Guards in Benue State.

“However, despite the persistent calls by Governors like Samuel Ortom and Rotimi Akeredolu for the Federal Government to license these security outfits to bear arms, the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari has been intransigent and refused to do so whilst it granted a state-owned security firm in Katsina to bear AK-47! What injustice!
“It’s high time for government to grant licences for AK-47 firearm to all adults with clean record and without crime. The formation of the National Guard is equally important. The Federal Government must ensure the liberalisation of AK-47 licenses for all adults without criminal past who should be under regular evaluation by the Department of State Services.

He added: “The Federal Government has failed in its primary duty as stated under section 14(2)(b) of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution which states that security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government’.

It is, therefore, not out of place for the Federal Government to act and grant arms license to the people to defend themselves and their lands as canvassed by former Chief of Army Staff, Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, who have said it repeatedly that Nigeria is being brought to ruin by heavily armed “useless” criminals.

The earlier the Buhari regime heeds the call for self-defense the better. Nigerians are not supposed to fold their hands while marauders have a field day. HURIWA also call for investigation to expose sponsors of the attack and prosecute them.”

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