The Katsina State government has defended governor Aminu Masari over his call to residents of the state to buy guns and defend themselves against bandits’ attacks.
The state government insisted that it is better to spend money on buying arms than to pay ransom to kidnappers.
Ibrahim Ahmed Katsina, special adviser to Masari on security matters, said this on Thursday during a LEADERSHIP podcast’s live show, ‘The Big Issue’.
Katsina maintained that enough is enough with banditry activities in the state.
He lamented that despite efforts by the state government to stem the menace, including granting amnesty to the bandits, the criminals have continued to betray government’s agreement with them, inflicting hardship on the people on a daily basis.
The governor’s aide stated that banditry will no longer be tolerated in the state, hence the encouragement given to the people to take up arms and defend themselves and their communities.
Katsina added that self-defence is constitutional in as much as the people would operate within the ambit of the law, by obtaining gun licences from the police and other arrangements the state government has put in place.
He said the decision is part of the state government’s community policing effort, by setting up three tiers of security arrangements, using the traditional rulers and the Nigeria Police Force to regulate and monitor the operations of the residents in their various communities.
“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”, he said.
“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”.
The state government, however, added that “the proper thing to be done is, instead of the people remaining docile and allowing bandits to continue killing them like chickens, that is unacceptable.
“People should wake up to their responsibilities, because everybody knows the size of our security operatives are inadequate and hence need support.
“What His Excellency has said is an enhancement of the community policing initiative where people will partner security agencies by complementing the policing work.
“As far as Katsina is concerned, we are awakening the society by telling the bandits ‘enough is enough’, we will no longer tolerate them,” he stated.