Insecurity is one thing that has been troubling Nigerians for more than a decade now. Currently, Nigeria is being classified as one of the most insecure nations in the world in the Global Terrrorism Index (GTI). A lot of communities have been destroyed and hundreds of people displaced due to poor military presence and levity by the federal government in supporting, and the soldiers in tackling the insecurity situation.
Due to the failure of the Nigerian military in ending these security threats, the idea of the people taking up arms for protection was birthed to enable them combat the bandits or terrorists, without the help of the soldiers who might not always be there when the men of carnage arrive. More recently, some politicians, like a former Kaduna State Senator, Shehu Sani, and a Majority Leader at the House of Representatives, Ado Doguwa, have called on the government to approve into law a bill that would allow for the citizens to bear arms for defence.
But there are a lot of mixed reactions on this as not everybody keys into the idea of arms bearing. Some people believe that the country could be plunged into a state of anarchy, and even crime rate in the country could rapidly increase. Others believe that self-defence is a civil right guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution, and believe that the idea should be brought to reality since the federal government had already failed in its responsibilities to protect its citizens from the constant killings and kidnappings.
If the federal government choose not to approve of this idea, then they have to find other concrete solutions to end the menace and incessant killings.
Nigeria isn’t a place where the idea of allowing the citizens to bear arms could be considered a good one. The people would surely at a point turn against themselves. Any slight issue might lead to a gun battle. The nation then becomes a battlefield with bodies littered everywhere. The masses may even revolt against the government who have failed in providing basic welfare for them.
Let’s look at a situation where the government of the day have failed in achieving national development and economic prosperity, and the poor man who has access to these arms is left with no other choice but to rob to feed himself.
Let’s look at a situation where the citizens have successfully won the war against insecurity. What about a situation where the arms fall into the wrong hands again, with the miscreants using it to clamor for a demand, and then the act of banditry becomes revived.
What about a situation where tribes living in proximity who have always being hostile towards each other, and even had clashes in the past as a result of land and other disputes, get into another dispute again with both sides attacking each other with the guns meant for protection. Isn’t that a prognostication of a country gradually being plungd and enmeshed into a civil war. The idea of legalizing the use of arms then becomes balderdash.
This idea can only be experimented in the villages in the country, most especially in the north, where killings and kidnappings have become a norm. The people, most especially, the youths can be mobilised and trained on the use of these weapons, but the idea of everyone across the 774 local government areas in the country bearing arms in the name of protection is a dumb idea.
If this idea of allowing the people in the most insecure areas in the country to bear arms is not taking into cognizance by the government, then I believe state policing should be allowed. The idea of having a decentralised police system has always been shrugged. State policing may or may not serve as an amelioration to the insecurity crisis, but if the other idea is rejected, this idea can be looked into.
Better still, if the idea of state policing is not approved of, the government should direct the army to take the battle to the hideouts of these terrorists, and also apprehend those involved in their sponsorship, because despite the awareness of the government on the lapses here, they still haven’t taken any action.
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