Leaders from the Benue tribe have thrown their weight behind the Minister of Defence’s opinion, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi called on the Federal Government to legalise the ownership of firearms in the country.
The Chairman of Benue tribal leaders and President General of Mzough U Tiv, World Wide, Chief Iorbee Ihagh, while reacting to the minister’s advice yesterday, in Makurdi, said the responsibility of the military and other security agencies is to defend Nigerians, but it has failed to do so.
It accused the government of letting herders carry arms and disarmed other citizens, and therefore citizens are left to their peril.
He said to defend themselves, as opined by the minister, the government should license everyone to own guns for defence.
According to him, “If we must heed his advice, how can we resort to self-defence when the government has disarmed all Nigerians and allowed herders to move about with automatic weapons. So to achieve that, the government should without delay license everyone to own guns to defend themselves which Governor Samuel Ortom had in the past also advocated.”
Ihagh also said he is pleased with the National Assembly for standing for the right course of encouraging the President to declare a state of emergency on security.
He said: “On the call by the National Assembly that President Buhari should declare a state of emergency on security, I must commend the lawmakers for reiterating what the likes of Governor Ortom, myself and other prominent Nigerians had also harped on in the past. We expect President Buhari to immediately make that declaration and also speak up on the raging herdsmen crisis to save Nigeria because the country is teetering on the precipice of anarchy.”
The Chairman reiterated Benue people’s commitment to supporting a legitimate initiative to prevent the country’s raging crisis. However, he declared that the call by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, for the establishment of a herdsmen commission was ill-conceived.
According to him, “If we are to establish such a commission for herders who are in private business, it means that we should also have a commission for farmers, traders, and other private companies in the country for fair play.
“In fact, I must say that if this government is bereft of ideas of what to do to check the worsening insecurity, they should step aside and allow Nigerians elect capable people to run our country so that Nigeria does not become history,” he added.
Do you think it is proper for Nigerians to be armed? What is your opinion on the government legalizing ownership of firearms for citizens?