Itse Sagay, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) says Nigerians should be allowed to bear arms for self-defense.
Mr Sagay, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) made the call yesterday in an interview with Daily Independent Newspapers.
The professor of law stated this while fielding questions on the way forward on tackling rising insecurity bedeviling the nation.
He said if Nigerians are allowed to bear arms, criminal elements who are terrorising the people will be challenged by the locals, a development which might deter most of the attackers from further commiting crime.
Sagay who was advising the federal government said it was necessary due to the country’s security situation which has deteriorated to the point that one is no longer safe even while at home.
“The country has become so dangerous. All sorts of things are happening nowadays. You have kidnappers, bandits, Fulani herdsmen, Boko Haram. The reality is that there is nowhere that is safe in the country. Travelling by road today is a very risky endeavour that one will hardly try. So, there is a total insecurity in the country,” he said.
“I don’t know what has gone wrong, why our people have become so violent and savage. Individuals no longer feel safe outside their own house. I am not even sure that one is safe in his own home.
“What I will like to suggest to the government is that it should allow ordinary Nigerians to carry arms. Everybody who wants to bear arms as a form of self-defence should be allowed to do so. This is necessary so that when these bandits and miscreants attack them, they will know that the person they attacked can defend himself.
“All these restrictions on owning weapons should be lifted. Let the public be allowed to own weapons, especially in all those villages where they are being massacred. Their men should be given weapons so that when the attackers come, they will also be given a challenge which may discourage them in future,” Sagay added.
However a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Sunny Onuesoke, disagrees with the PACAC chairman, suggesting extensive reforms in the security structure as the solution.
For Mr Onuesoke, a former Delta governorship aspirant, it will be the “beginning of the end” if the opinion of Sagay is considered.
“Allowing Individuals to take up arms as a means to protect themselves may result to anarchy, doom and national disaster in a country like ours where there no adequate database for proper background check, low level of awareness on mental evaluation and the unpredictable nature of Nigerians faced with so much uncertainties due to failure on the part of the APC/Buhari-led government,” the opposition politician said in a statement in reaction.
“With dwindling economic fortunes, hunger and increasing uncertainty in the land, allowing Nigerians to bears arms to defend themselves may just be the beginning of the end as this could lead to unnecessary bloodletting, reprisal attack, carnage and killing-spree because majority of the people are angry and would be looking for every opportunity let lose, which may result in even worse scenario like we used to have in the United State.
“The way forward is restructuring and a rejig of the security architecture of the country, improved welfare packages for our security personnel, heavy investment on modern security gadget and equipment to boost the morale of the security personnel in combating criminal activities and a declaration of national emergency on security across the country” Onuesoke said.