Northern group knocks Mattawale over self-defence order

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle

A Northern group, the Concerned Northern Forum has carpeted Governor Mohammed Matawalle over his directives that citizens of the state should bear firearms for self-defence against bandits terrorising the state.

The group called on the governor to as a matter of urgency re-examined his position over the firearm bearing by citizens across the state.

In a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Ibrahim Bature and the Spokesperson, Abdulsalam Mohammed -Kazeem, respectively in Kaduna on Monday, the group said they were not against self-defence but couldn’t support the decision of directing citizens to bore arms.

According to the group,  firearms bearing by civilians will only lead to nothing but anarchy across the state.

The statement read in part, “The leadership of Concerned Northern Forum call on the Executive Governor of Zamfara State to re-examine his recent position over arms.

“We as a forum and one of the leading voice of our region sympathise with the and people of Zamfara State over the current spate of insecurity and the untold hardship the said situation has caused them.

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“We are not against self-defence but we can’t support the decision directing civilians to bear arm because we are all witnesses to the inabilities of developed countries with accurate data at all levels with such policies and their inabilities to stop the consequences of gun violence.

“According to Fire Arms Act, private citizens are only licensed to acquire Pump Action and Short guns. So, how can a farmer in Zamfara State defend himself against terrorists with GPMG, anti- aircraft and AK 47?

“Who will train the farmers after acquiring such arms. At what point will the Zamfara State retrieve back all the said guns licensed to them (citizens)?

“Though we are aware that the Governor is only trying to score a cheap political point, we appeal to him to face governance squarely with all sincerity of purpose and accept responsibility at any rate.

“The era of chasing shadows is over. By the way, he does  not even have the right in the first place to direct the state Commissioner of Police  to give interested citizens licenses because the police is a Federal agent and they are not answerable to him under section 214 of the 1999 constitution.”

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