Itse Sagay: FG must permit Nigerians to bear arms for self-defence

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The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay, says the Federal Government must permit Nigerians to bear arms in order to defend themselves.

He said that his call was necessitated by increased unprovoked attacks against hapless Nigerians by bandits and other criminals across the nation and the seeming helplessness of the security forces.

The legal luminary bemoaned the heightened insecurity in the country, describing it as unprecedented.

Itse Sagay said it was evident that the Federal Government has become overwhelmed by killings, rapes, maimings and kidnappings perpetrated by criminal groups like Boko Haram, bandits, kidnappers, and killer herdsmen.

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He said it was therefore right for Nigerians to be given the backing to protect themselves from such atrocities.

“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. Traveling by road today is a very risky endeavour that one will hard­ly try. So, there is total insecu­rity in the country.

“I don’t know what has gone wrong, why our people have become so violent and savage. Individuals no lon­ger feel safe outside his own house. I am not even sure that one is absolutely safe in his own house.

“What I will like to suggest to the government is that they should allow ordinary Nigeri­ans to carry arms. Everybody who wants to carry 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 has the capacity to defend himself.

“All these restrictions on owning weapons should be lifted. Let the generality of 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.

“We have had causes where bandits attacked villages but the people are powerless to de­fend themselves. By the time the security agents come in, the attackers had left. They will look for a quiet time and launch another attack. That will stop if the people have the capacity to defend them­selves,” Itse Sagay told Daily Independent.

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