BY EMEKA EJERE
The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu has backed President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to security agents to shoot anyone bearing AK-47 rifles in the country.
Elumelu, who spoke on Thursday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, however, noted that the president should have directly given the order instead of relaying it via his media aide.
“The statement credited to the media aide to Mr President is a welcome development but I would have prefered that Mr President himself made that broadcast,” the lawmaker who represents Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency noted.
The Delta-born lawmaker explained that Buhari, in his broadcast, would have condemned criminal acts by some herders and believes that would have sent a strong message to those bent on perpetuating crime across the country.
“I would like him to outrightly condemn the activities of the herdsmen,” Elumelu added. “They are everywhere messing up all the communities, attacking people.”
He noted that some of the president’s supporters would have loved to hear the Nigerian leader directly issuing the shoot-at-sight order, insisting that “His media aide making that statement is not the same thing as Mr President making that statement himself. I would like to see more of Mr President making that statement himself.”
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu recently said his principal had directed security agents to shoot anyone caught with riffles including AK-47 as Nigeria battles to contain its myriad of security challenges.
The development has continued to generate reactions from Nigerians including political leaders. Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom had welcomed the move, commending Buhari for heeding calls for stringent measures to tame the rising crime rate in the country.
“I wish to commend Mr President for his recent order against those bearing AK47 rifles,” Ortom said in Makurdi, the Benue State capital. “This I am sure will reduce the high rate of criminality, banditry, and militia herdsmen attacks on our farming communities.”