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Insecurity: Buhari warns states against acquisition of ‘automatic weapons’

*Orders law enforcement agencies to deal with defaulters

By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

The Presidency has strongly asserted that there is no state, not Katsina, not any other state in the federation, that has been authorized to procure ‘automatic weapons’ for their security outfits.

The President has repeatedly under this administration, made it clear that nobody is allowed to illegally carry AK-47 or any other automatic weapons and that they must surrender them.

Buhari, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, warned that “where they fail to do so, the law enforcement agencies have been given clear directives to deal with any such outlaws.”

He, however, cautioned against the politicization of security.

He clarified that, “Under the existing regulations, only the Office of the National Security Adviser can issue such authorization, upon proper clearance by the President and Commander-in-Chief and as it is at this moment, no such approvals have been issued to any state government.

“In the specific Katsina State often cited, the Governor, Aminu Bello Masari wrote to explain that the administration invited the Provost of the Civil Defence Training College in Katsina to train their Vigilantes for a five-day period “in the handling and operations of Pump Action Rifles,” emphasizing that “the Vigilantes were not trained to take over the responsibilities of the security agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria but to assist them.”

The Presidency appreciated the active involvement of states with security matters.

As they continue to expand their capabilities as well as their active collaboration with law enforcement agencies of the federation, the joint efforts continue to yield good results, thwarting attempts of terrorists to wreak havoc and destruction on communities, the President stated.

President Buhari in particular, expressed happiness that in the last couple of years, security outfits mandated by state governments have been associated with several important initiatives, and reports have reached him of acts of utmost bravery and professionalism.

He thanked them for their alertness that is helping to defeat nefarious plots against targets at grassroots levels.

The President buttressed that government at the centre with a national mandate cannot afford to “alienate Ondo State or any other state for that matter on the important issue of security,” urging leaders at various levels to exercise restraint in their speech, even as we are in a political season.

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