Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Wednesday appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government to allow ‘responsible citizens’ to carry guns such as AK47 to prevent criminals from attacking harmless Nigerians.
Ortom stated this in a paper obtained by ChannelsTv, which he (Ortom) presented yesterday during the virtual meeting convened by Centre for Values in Leadership, CVL, in collaboration with Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF.
In the paper titled ‘Insecurity and Governance Challenges in the New Normal’, the Governor said governments at all levels must come to terms with the fact that insecurity is a real threat to the development of the country and be willing to sincerely tackle the menace.
He also recommended adequate funding of security agencies and continuous training of their personnel to enable them to be abreast of global dynamics in the fight against insecurity.
Recall that Buhari had promised to equip the military with more arms.
The President informed the governors of the imminent shipment of weapons and aircraft from Jordan, China and the United States, but again asked for patience on the part of the public because the new weapons and aircraft must be manned by trained fighters and pilots who must first receive appropriate training. He also expressed satisfaction with the level of support from neighbouring countries in the war against terrorism.
His words: “They are cooperating with us. On Boko Haram, we are making progress with Benin, Niger, Chad and Cameroon,” he said, while restating that intelligence-gathering must improve to be able to track small arms in the North-West, North-Central and North-East states,’’ the President said.
President Buhari also expressed satisfaction with the level of naval activities in the Gulf of Guinea, using newly-acquired equipment, but demanded that hard-to-reach areas of Lake Chad where Boko Haram terrorists have found new havens, as well as the forests now inhabited by bandits, must be accessed and rid of nefarious elements.
“The Chief of Defence Staff has spoken about their study of the forests and their potential danger to security. We must make sure we follow the bandits and terrorists, but there must not be deforestation, in view of the climate situation.’’