- Governor Samuel Ortom has again, called for Nigerians to bear arms over the security situation in the country
- The governor insisted that Nigerians need to bear their own arms for self-protection and defence
- The Benue governor insisted that his suggestion was harmless, dismissing suggestions that he was calling for anarchy
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Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, on Friday, August 21 reiterated his earlier suggestion that Nigerians should be allowed to carry AK-47 rifles due to the security challenges faced in mst parts of the country.
The governor repeated his stance while addressing journalists in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
He insisted that Nigerians need to be licenced to bear AK-47 rifles for self-protection and defence, in view of the general insecurity in the country.
His words: “I am not a security expert but as governor I receive briefings and I was able to do my independent investigation and knew that these people (armed herdsmen/bandits) are coming for an agenda. Nigerians must wake up. If we don’t wake up we will all be consumed.
“I heard people complaining that Ortom called for Nigerians to be allowed to carry sophisticated weapons and that it would bring about anarchy.
“What about the Fulani herdsmen who are carrying AK-47 rifles and kidnapping innocent Nigerians, raping our women and destroying our villages and towns and becoming a terror to us.
“How about them? Why can’t we collect these sophisticated weapons from them? How many of them have been arrested?
“I am aware that some of them have been apprehended but majority of them are still there with these AK-47.
“This is a suggestion that the federal government should take up seriously because in America people are licensed to carry sophisticated weapons but life is still going on.
“It is left for the federal government to look at it if my suggestion can be carried but for me, I still stand with my suggestion.”
The Benue governor insisted that his suggestion was harmless, saying those trying to twist his comment, and alleging that he was calling for anarchy should rather question herdsmen and bandits who carry arms across the country.
He said: “My call was out of passion. I’m asking for an upgrade of the existing policy of gun licensing. Terrorists will caution themselves when they see that people are armed against them. We must as Nigerians find ways to stop these people.
”When the Fulani Jihadists came, they said they came to take over Nigeria. They came with an agenda. They came to impose religion, but people should be allowed to practice their religion in this country.”
He also said the Fulanis attacking Nigerians in the country are not from Nigeria, stressing that they are from neughbouring African countries.
Speaking on the community policing initiative, Governor Ortom said that the N13.5billion approved by the federal government for the exercise will assist in the training of local recruits.
His words: “This is a policy that all the north-central governors and the Inspector General of Police met some time ago and we jointly agreed that to augment the capacity and the strength of the Nigeria police, we need to do something that will arise from the community to support the police.
“So it is a policy that we engaged the rural people and government is told to find ways of giving them stipends but the police will train these recruits.
“Already we have done the recruitment from all the 276 wards in Benue state, so I think the next thing is for the training to take place.”
Legit.ng had earlier reported that Governor Ortom recently said that no amount of threat, intimidation, or arm twisting will make him reverse the anti-open grazing law in Benue state.
The governor on Monday, August 17, also raised the alarm that Miyeitti Allah groups are planning to impose violence on Benue state, even as he called on security agencies to check the activities of the group and bring their members to justice for their crimes.
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, has ordered commissioners of police across the country to immediately initiate appropriate actions to identify, isolate, disarm, arrest and prosecute any individual(s) or group(s) in possession of prohibited firearms.
The IGP says the move is due to the forthcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states.
A statement by police spokesman, Frank Mba, noted that the initiative is towards ensuring both elections are violent-free.
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