Katsina State Governor, Dikko Umaru Radda, wants the Federal Government to allow individuals to buy and own weapons such as AK-47 rifles and RPGs for self-defence against bandits.
The governor, who spoke on Friday during a media chat in Abuja, argued that if the bandits wreaking havoc across the country could have access to the market to purchase weapons, individuals should be allowed to own theirs.
Radda said, “If a bandit can go to the market and buy an AK-47, an RPG, and all of those weapons, what about the people that want to protect themselves? They, too, should be equally allowed to do so.
“These people are holding it illegally; we are trying to hold it legally. Why can’t the government allow the people to hold this thing and equally confront the challenges?
“Negotiation with bandits is a no-go area from my perspective, but I said if I am at the point of advantage―if the bandits come out and say, ‘Look, we are dropping arms, let us sit down and talk’―we could reintegrate them back into society.”
He said further: “We governors are so-called chief security officers of our states, but we don’t have the authority to command the military, police, or civil defence. They receive orders from above.
“In our efforts, we have come up with the intelligence unit within the Katsina Community Watch Corps. This intelligence unit—even the corps members don’t know them. The reason for setting it up is to check the excesses of the Watch Corps and also to gather information.”