By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
In a bid to fight terrorism and other forms of criminalities in the country, a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Ben Adaji, has urged the Inspector General of Police to license “reasonable Nigerians” to carry arms.
Adaji, who gave the advice while chatting with journalists, said the situation where innocent Nigerians were daily living in perpetual fear of attack from bandits and kidnappers was worrisome.
The chieftain, who is also an expert on human security and counter-terrorism, said security should no longer be left in the hands of security personnel alone.
He noted that the rising spate of kidnapping and banditry across the country should be a thing of concern to all Nigerians, adding that other non-combatant measures were equally required to nip the scourge in the bud.
He said: “You will agree with me that because of the large population of Nigeria, it is not possible for security agencies to be in every home to provide security for Nigerians.
“Therefore, it has become imperative for certain categories of Nigerians to be licensed to bear arms for self-protection.”
Adaji, a two- time aspirant for the House of Representatives for Ankpa Federal constituency of Kogi state, advised the military to take advantage of the recent court order designating bandits as terrorists to deal decisively with Boko-Haram and other criminals.
“With the recent court pronouncement of bandits as a terrorists group, the military should ensure adequate use of the Tucano fighter aircrafts procured from the United States to eliminate bandits and Boko-Haram elements”.
Adaji also advised the government to create more employment opportunities as well as tackle poverty as one of the causes of insecurity.
He equally challenged the Federal government to embark on massive disarmament campaign with sincerity of purpose to mop up all sophisticated arms which may be in wrong hands across the country.
He charged the newly established Centre for the Control of Light and Small Arms domiciled in the Office of the National Security Adviser to step up campaign against illegal bearing and possession of arms.
The security expert also advocated the establishment of special courts for speedy trials of citizens in possession of illegal arms, adding that such measures would control the proliferation of arms in Nigeria.
Adaji wants the new centre to deploy intelligence at all land borders and ports of entry to detect the illegal movement of arms into the country.
“Nigerians should be conscious of their immediate environment and should not leave the responsibility of their own individual and collective security to security agencies.”