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The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, is still asking the Federal Government to allow responsible Nigerians bear arms to defend themselves.
He made the appeal again at a media briefing with journalists in Abuja, on Friday. According to him, there is nothing sinister about his call because the safety of the lives of law-abiding citizens has come under serious threat.
Governor Ortom said existing laws should be reviewed to accommodate current security realities.
The Governor said the current regulation on the ownership of small arms such as Dane guns and double-barrelled guns was not in tune with current realities.
The governor said, “Right now, the policy (on licensing) we have is at the local government and state levels where Dane guns and double-barrelled guns are licensed; there is no way even pump action can stand AK 47.
“If the bandits, terrorists and criminals know that where they are visiting to attack or destroy property and steal, the people around there have sophisticated weapons like they have, they will caution themselves.
“What we are saying is that kidnappers, armed robbers and terrorists, none of them carry Dane guns, double-barrelled or pump action, they carry sophisticated weapons like AK 47; we can’t just fold our arms.”
“For me, the call is a patriotic call. What I’m calling for is an upgrade of our laws based on the sophistication of crime. In the ’60s and ’70s, we never had criminals having AK 47 rifles and killing people like we have in the country today. I will write to the Presidency so that it will pass through the process of legislation.”
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