The Benue State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, has urged the federal government to allow responsible citizens to protect themselves with weapons such as AK-47 rifles as part of measures to curb the rising insecurity in the country.
The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Terver Akase, titled, ‘National Security: Gov Ortom Proposes The Way Forward,’ urged the federal government to grant licences to responsible citizens to carry sophisticated weapons to deter criminals from attacking innocent and helpless Nigerians.
He said the policy should be backed by a strict legal framework to prevent illegal possession of arms by the citizenry without exception.
His recommendations were part of his submission in a paper Ortom presented yesterday during the virtual meeting convened by Centre for Values in Leadership, CVL, in collaboration with Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).
In the paper titled: ‘Insecurity and Governance Challenges in the New Normal,’ the governor said governments at all levels must come to terms with the fact that insecurity is a real threat to development of the country and be willing to sincerely tackle the menace.
He also recommended adequate funding of security agencies and continuous training of their personnel to enable them to be abreast of global dynamics in the fight against insecurity.
The governor urged the federal government to embrace ranching as it is the global best practice of animal husbandry and enact a law to end open grazing, which often comes with attacks on farming communities by armed herdsmen militia.
Ortom also advocated improved educational standards and enhanced public enlightenment campaigns to give the people, particularly youths the needed orientation to shun negative acts and become more patriotic.
He called for the repositioning of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) through training, funding and logistics to successfully confront drug barons and peddlers; a move he said would stop illegal drugs from entering and circulating in the country.