By John Ikani
Katsina State Government has thrown its weight behind the recent call made by its Governor, Aminu Masari on residents to take up arms and defend themselves from bandits, saying it is better to spend money on buying arms than to pay ransom to kidnappers.
Speaking on LEADERSHIP podcast’s live show, ‘The Big Issue’ on Thursday, the Special Adviser to the governor on Security Matters, Ibrahim Ahmed said enough is enough for banditry activities in the state.
According to him, government in the past had taken several unsuccessful measures, including granting amnesty to the bandits, to stem the tide of banditry in the state, but that the bandits had betrayed the government’s agreement with them and continued causing hardship on the people on a daily basis.
While noting that self-defence is constitutional in as much as the people would operate within the ambit of the law, Ahmed urged residents to obtain gun licences from the police and other arrangements the state government has put in place.
“The situation is under control and what His Excellency the governor said is a normal call which is backed by the Police Act. You know, even if you kill somebody in self-defense, the law would not hold you accountable or responsible.
“And this is just history repeating itself, because the governor is not the first to advise people to defend themselves. When you ask people to do that, there are legal ways to do it. Even the governor clarified today that those who arm themselves would be registered by the police so that they can be properly monitored.
“If you go back to the history on how Americans allowed their people to carry arms, it was because of the Barbarians who were attacking people with impunity and government decided that people should carry arms and defend themselves.
“We are doing the same thing the civilised world has done by telling the people to defend themselves,” he said.
The special adviser further said that if all modalities are fully implemented, the threat of banditry in the state would end, even as he called on other states to emulate Katsina State government, especially its self-defence strategy and other internal security initiatives to end banditry in the country.