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Matawalle lacks power to direct Zamfara CP to issue gun licences, says Irabor

Matawalle lacks power to direct Zamfara CP to issue gun licences, says Irabor
June 27
16:56 2022

Lucky Irabor, chief of defence staff, has faulted the directive of Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara, asking residents of the state to take up arms against bandits.

Owing to the security challenges in the state, Matawalle had recently asked Zamfara residents to take up arms and defend themselves against bandits.

The governor also directed the state police command to issue gun licences to all who qualify and are willing to obtain firearms to defend themselves.

Reacting on Monday, Irabor said the call was not right, as the armed forces and other security agencies are available to handle security challenges.

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Irabor spoke to journalists at the opening of the joint exercise for the National Defence College and war colleges of the armed forces of Nigeria, code named ‘Exercise Grand Nationale’, in Abuja.

Irabor also said the directive will raise issues around the provisions of the constitution.

“I believe that, in my view, it is not the right way to go,” Irabor said.

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“Of course, there are actions that members of the security agencies and the armed forces, in particular, the police and other security agencies are doing to address insecurity in Zamfara and environs.

“Beyond that, of course, there are other legal issues, other issues of governance, issues that the government could have addressed using the instrumentality of the law that are available for him to bring greater peace and security.

“But like I said, I do not intend to say much about it, but I believe that the federal government, using the attorney-general, will look at the details of that press release and give further instruction.

“If what I read is true, I do not also think that the governor has the power to instruct the commissioner of police to issue licences, because the commissioner of police does not have the power to issue licences.”

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Irabor also said the armed forces are doing their best to address insecurity in the country, in line with the provisions of the constitution.

“I believe that what we are doing in Zamfara and, of course, across the states of the federation, is in deference to the provisions of the constitution,” he said.

“So, we are there to give support to the civil authority, in this case, the police.

“We do not need to restate what the issues are that have led to the deployment of military across the country. But then, like I said, we are doing the very best to ensure that peace returns to every part of the country.”

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