The government of Zamfara State has charged residents to take up arms in self-defence against bandits.
The Bello Matawalle government which gave the charge on Saturday, lamented increased kidnapping for ransom, killings and extortion perpetrated by the marauders in the state.
“Government has henceforth, directed individuals to prepare and obtain guns to defend themselves against the bandits, as government has directed the state commissioner of police to issue licence to all those who qualify and are wishing to obtain such guns to defend themselves,” Ibrahim Dosara, the State Commissioner for Information said in a statement on Sunday.
The state government also said it is “ready to facilitate people, especially our farmers to secure basic weapons for defending themselves. Government has already concluded an arrangement to distribute 500 forms to each of the 19 Emirates in the state for those willing to obtain guns to defend themselves.”
This comes a few days after President Muhammadu Buhari boasted in an interview with Bloomberg that his regime will leave Nigeria better secured.
“We leave Nigeria in a far better place than we found it. Corruption is less hidden for Nigerians feel empowered to report it without fear, while money is returned; terrorists no longer hold any territory in Nigeria, and their leaders are deceased; and vast infrastructure development sets the country on course for sustainable and equitable growth,” Mr Buhari had told Bloomberg.
Last year, Governor Aminu Masari of Mr Buhari’s homestate Katsina, similarly said that the state will assist citizens to procure arms and munitions for self-defence against marauding bandits.
“We’ll support those who come with the initiative to procure arms because residents need to also complement the efforts of security agencies,” Mr Masari said.
Mr Masari had said then that 10 out of 34 local governments in Katsina were under the control of armed bandits, disputing Mr Buhari’s recent Bloomberg claims that “terrorists no longer hold any territory in Nigeria.