The attack on the Mada community of Zamfara State, where notorious gunmen abducted, killed residents and burned homes, is one of the many attacks reported from Zamfara in recent times. The primary duty of every government is to protect lives and properties, but the failure of this administration in this sector is now glaring.
The menace of banditry is becoming deadly by the day in Zamfara, one of the north western states in Nigeria; many farmers cannot access their farms in a state whose motto states’ Farming is our pride.’
The state borders Kaduna State to the south, Niger republic to the north, Kastina to the south and Sokoto, Kebbi and Niger to the west. The state’s geographical location has made it vulnerable to attacks from enemies of peace. The government had tried measures like granting amnesty to bandits and engaging vigilantes; these steps have not stopped the carnage. The bandits consistently terrorize the communities.
Last week, through the Commissioner of Information, Mr Ibrahim Dosara, the Zamfara State Government directed residents of the state to be prepared to obtain guns to defend themselves against bandits. The state is set to dispatch 500 gun licensing application forms to the 19 emirates of the state, making a total of 9,500 guns as it directs the state commissioner of police to issue the license to willing and qualified people. Other measures announced include the closure of markets in three districts in the state, banning the use of motorcycles in the state and security agents have been directed to shoot at sight any violator of the motorcycle ban.
The government revealed that this measure becomes necessary following the deteriorating state of security in many parts of the state. From residents and security experts, mixed reactions have trailed this directive to obtain guns to defend themselves against bandits. The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, while speaking in an interview commented on the new measure of Governor Matawalle of Zamfara. He said,
I do not think that is the right way to go…There are other issues of governance that the governor could have addressed using the instrumentalities of the law available to bring greater peace and security.”General Lucky Irabor
Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer, while reacting to the new measure, said:
These are all signs of imminent collapse o the Nigeria state. The Zamfara State government appears to have tried many options which have not worked to the extent of securing the lives of the people in the state.”Femi Falana
This Gun Ownership Policy is dicey. Suppose the government doesn’t license guns in highly-troubled areas, with the rate at which banditry, terrorism and, more importantly, hunger is ravaging the land. In that case, people will get the weapons illegally for their survival. We can only hope society will not descend to the level where men and women begin to attack innocent persons.
Neglect of education, corruption, and injustice by successive governments breed insecurity. Isn’t it awkward that the government is completely losing its relevance to the people?
Citizens source for their water, pay humongous among for electricity they rarely get, patronize private hospitals for their health care, and they now need to take up arms to protect themselves against the monster made by the government.