*Zamfara govt urges residents to buy guns, defend themselves against bandits
*Directs Commissioner of Police to issue gun licenses to people qualified, willing to use them
*Says decision became necessary due to spike in banditry across the state
*That it’s part of govt commitment to secure lives, property of citizens in Zamfara
By Emmanuel Obisue
Following the spike in activities of bandits in various parts of Zamfara State, the government has directed individuals to obtain guns to defend themselves going forward.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Dosara and made available to newsmen on Sunday.
The statement noted that the decision was taken by the state government in view of its commitment to ensure adequate security and protection of lives and property of the citizenry in the state, particularly during this rainy season.
Dosara said the Zamfara Government has also “directed the state Commissioner of Police to issue (gun) license” to people who are qualified and willing to use the guns.
“Government has resolved to take further measures to deal with the recent escalating attacks, kidnapping and the criminal levies being enforced on our innocent communities.
“This act of terrorism has been a source of worry and concern to the people and government of the state. Therefore, in order to deal decisively with the situation in our respective communities, government has no option than to take the following measures:
“Government has henceforth directed individuals to prepare and obtain guns to defend themselves against the bandits, as the government has directed the state Commissioner of Police to issue licenses to all those who qualify and are wishing to obtain such guns to defend themselves.
“Government is ready to facilitate people, especially our farmers, to secure basic weapons for defending themselves. Government has already concluded an arrangement to distribute 500 forms to each of the 19 Emirates in the state for those willing to obtain guns to defend themselves.
“People must apply from the Commissioner of Police, license to own guns and such other basic weapons to be used in defending themselves,” the statement read.
This is not the first time a governor will tell citizens to take up arms. It would be recalled that Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina state had earlier called on residents of his state to arm themselves against the gunmen in the state.
Zamfara and Katsina are two of the states mostly affected by the activities of terrorists, locally called bandits whose actions have led to the death of hundreds of people and the kidnap of thousands of others in the affected states.