HURIWA backs Danjuma’s call for self-defence, knocks FG for denying Amotekun, Benue State’s vigilantes AK-47 licence
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, backed the call by a former Chief of Army Staff (CAS), Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, that Nigerians acquire arms to defend themselves against terrorists overrunning the country.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, also knocked the Federal Government for denying state-owned security outfits like Amotekun and Benue Guards licence to bear AK-47 rifles against the aggressors who masquerade as herdsmen and kidnappers, but launch vicious onslaughts on Nigerians, killing thousands in the last seven years.The group described as alarming and unpardonable that no fewer than 53,418 Nigerians lost their lives to non-state actors between May 29, 2015 and October 15, 2022.
According to the Nigerian Security Tracker, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations of the United States of America, the deaths occurred mostly from farmers/herders’ conflict, clashes by religious groups, and attacks by terrorists and bandits.
“Yet, the Buhari regime has criticised some state governors who instructed their citizens to bear arms to defend themselves. The Federal Government also has perpetually denied state-owned security outfits, like the Amotekun Corps, Ebubeagu and Benue Guards licence to bear assault rifles like AK-47 to launch offensive against their aggressors.
“The Federal Government is no doubt complicit with its defenceless insistence. Benue State is a very serious case whereby the entire state is under the siege of armed terrorists, but despite all effort by the Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom to get the President to approve AK 47 for the vigilantes in Benue, the President failed to do so but when the same armed Fulani terrorists invaded Benue at the Weekend and killed over two dozens of farmers including children, it was then that President said he condemned the killings and this same President refused to give the People the weapons to defend their lives but is shedding crocodile tears after much damage and destruction to lives have been done. This is hypocrisy taken to a comical dimension.
“The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola and other members of this government have no moral right to tell state governors like Samuel Ortom of Benue and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo that no state security outfit would be allowed to bear arms.
“In fact, Governor Ortom recently cried out that the Benue State Governor had applied for a licence for Benue Guards to bear AK-47 rifles but the Federal Government refused to act on the request even after many months,” Onwubiko noted.