Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has commended his Zamfara counterpart, Bello Matawalle, in his call for the people of the state to arm themselves for self-defence against bandits.
The governor, in a statement by his senior special assistant on special duties and strategy, Dr Doyin Odebowale, said the call confirmed the pervasive loss of confidence in the handling of insecurity in the country.
“It signals a situation of near- capitulation on the part of the security agencies centrally controlled by the federal government. It portends great danger for the polity.
“It is a sad commentary on the increasing inability and impotence of the Zamfara State Government, and other states, to protect their citizens in the wake of relentless and mindless assaults by terrorists and bandits. It suggests a total lack of trust between the state government and federal government on one hand, and the helpless and hopeless situation in which the people have found themselves concerning the security of lives, on the other.
“The stark reality confronting the people of Zamfara leaves the government with no esoteric option than to lean heavily on the current arrangement. The government and the people of Zamfara State have been pushed to the wall. The feeling of despondency is pervasive in the land.”
The governor, however, said the move might be stifled by existing federal arrangements because of the need by the NSA and Inspector General of Police to have to issue a license to possess a certain category of arms.
“No such licenses have been issued to individuals since 2007 while those which existed had been revoked. Therefore, this directive, attractive and compelling in the current circumstances, may be stifled by existing federal arrangement,” he said.
The governor said the deliberate policy of the federal government to deny exigent regional security outfits the right to bear firearms, when it is evident that the security agencies in the country are overwhelmed and distracted by centrifugal forces, is a major factor, among many, exacerbating the current security challenges in the country.
“A federal system of government cannot be administered as if the country is a unitary colony, controlled, rigidly, at the centre, while the constituent units are treated as mere outposts.
“This fact, coupled with the logic of divergence and rapid growth in population, imposes no other practicable measure on the managers of this country, including our legislators, than to accept the inevitability of the establishment of a state police.”