Proposed legislation on arms bearing, invitation to anarchy -CSO


*Hails Tinubu’s solutions to security problems

By Olugbenga Salami

Civil Society Coalition for Credible Election, has kicked against the bill before the National Assembly proposing for citizens to bear arms in self defence, saying it is an invitation to anarchy and perdition.

This was even as the CSO with strong interest in election, security and economic wellbeing of Nigerians, commended the administration of President Bola Tinubu in curbing insecurity and its related daunting challenges confronting the nation after nine months in office.

In a jointly signed speech by the group’s convener, Hon. Aminu Usman and co-convener, Ambassador Auwal Kasim Hassan, read at a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, they urged Nigerians to reject the bill, which has already passed first reading in the Senate.

“Without mincing words, the bill which was sponsored by Senator Ned Nwoko representing Delta North Senatorial District which has passed first reading is an invitation to anarchy and perdition and should be rejected,” they maintained

“In a survey carried out by a Swiss-based non-profit organisation in 2020, said Nigeria had an estimated 6.2 million arms, excluding explosives in hands of non state actors, a number far more than the Nigerian military with 586,600 guns and light weapons.

“The non state actors and some civilians have used illegal arms to wage war against the state and legalizing the use of weapons as captured in the ‘general principles’ of the bill as it were would not be in the interest of the nation.

“Therefore, the Civil Society Coalition for Credible Election is calling on the Senate President, Godswill Obot Akpabio, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas and lawmakers of the upper and lower legislative chambers to reject the bill as soon as it is due for debate,” they advised.

While hailing the present administration’s efforts on security, they said: “We can effectively say, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu took over governance at no ‘peace time’, given the massive insecurity of banditry, kidnapping, abductions and communal crisis at a high scale level across the country at the time.

“Statistics of Nigerians killed due to banditry, kidnapping, abductions and wanton attacks on communities, particularly in the Northern part of the country stood at 63,111 in eight years of the former President Muhammadu Bulari-led alone as reported in Vanguard of May 20, 2023 shortly before he handed over to President Tinubu.

“Also, in four years, i.e. from 2019 to 2023, which was the last four years of Buhari, the figure of Nigerians killed stood at 35,800, a well researched figure published by Vanguard on May 20, 2023 and many other national and online media outlets in the country.

“Hence, the effort of tackling insecurity across the nation by the incumbent administration was not just borne out of its Constitutional primary responsibility, but has been so passionate. The level of insecurity in the Northern parts of the country and down South-East, South-South and South-West, to say the least, has been drastically reduced.”

The CSO also commended the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, “who has been relentlessly galvanizing and advising Mr. President in a frankly manner on approach to tackling modern day terrorism and all forms of criminalities.”

“Ribadu’s capability to identify, isolate and process different causes of crises, arising from terrorism, banditry, religious, social, political, economic and communal has made the approach to tackling insecurity in the last nine months effective, moreso, that the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) as it is currently has become completely apolitical and is facing the task of advising Mr President on security in a professional and objectively manner.

“The combined effort of security agencies have decimated activities of terrorists across the country and this is no gainsaying, it added.