Activist and former Kaduna Central senator, Shehu Sani, has asked Nigeria’s Defence Minister, Bashir Magashi to provide Nigerians with enabling tools for self-defence, or allow private citizens to source for same, if his call on the populace to defend themselves against bandits is to be taken seriously.
Magashi had while reacting to the abduction of school children in Niger State by bandits, argued that it is the responsibility of citizens to defend themselves against bandits.
The Minister noted that people should show that they are not cowards by defending themselves, pointing out that the operations of bandits are sometimes carried out with a few rounds of ammunition.
“It is the responsibility of everybody to keep alert and to find safety when necessary. But we shouldn’t be cowards,” said.
“At times, the bandits will only come with about three rounds of ammunition, when they fire shots everybody runs. In our younger days, we stand to fight any aggression coming for us.
“I don’t know why people are running from minor things like that. They should stand and let these people know that even the villagers have the competency and capabilities to defend themselves.
“Our own duty is to ensure that no Nigerian is hurt, and we are capable of protecting the integrity of this nation and we’ll continue to do it even though we are so stretched.”
When asked, however, if Nigeria should permit citizens to carry arms, Magashi said, “Even in the developed countries, they are still debating on it, whether to continue or not.
“But I don’t advise Nigeria to start issuing firearms for personal use.”
Reacting to the minister’s remarks on Twitter, Sani said, “If the Defence Minister is prescribing self defence,his Ministry should provide Nigerians with the ‘enabling tools’ or formally permit them to privately source for it,so that there shall be ‘cowards’ no more in this beleaguered and bewildered land.”