The Christian Association of Nigeria, the Arewa Defense League, and the Coalition of Northern Groups have condemned recent remarks attributed to Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, that his government would be willing to assist citizens in obtaining arms for self-defense on Wednesday, December 29,2021.
The Chairman of CAN in Kaduna State, Rev.John Joseph Hayab, said “the public talk by Gov Masari about self-defense is not new to us and our constitution. The only concern we have is that our security agencies will use this to arrest more victims whose only sin is having guns to defend themselves while the criminals will
continue to do havoc and will not be arrested.”
Hayab expressed his displeasure with the governor’s habit of urging citizens to defend themselves against bandits when it is evident that Nigerian security forces have failed to fight them. The cleric bemoans the governor’s suggestion that “Those we have been praying and hoping that they will defeat the terrorist for us are saying that they can not help us,” he said.
On the flip side, a leader of the Arewa Defense League,Mutala Muhammad, agrees with the gesture of Governor Masari. Muhammad said “we welcome with optimism the statement by the Katsina State Governor, Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, to the effect, that his government is going to assist communities to acquire weapons to defend themselves against rural bandits and other
criminal gangs “
“The apparent failure of our military and other law enforcement agencies to protect citizens against bandits and other dangerous criminals has created an atmosphere where heavily armed bandits operate freely in the Northwest and parts of Niger State with impunity as they rape, plunder, maim and kill citizens with reckless abandon.”
He further stated that the availability of guns to Katsina citizens will be utilized to instill dread and terror in the hearts of bandits, resulting in a reduction in the frequency of bandit violence in the area.
Suleiman Abdulaziz , said “that is nothing but an afterthought from leaders who have turned down every suggestion for a collective approach to the security situation in the North.”