In a recent media chat, the Governor of Katsina state, Dikko Umaru Radda, expressed his belief that Nigerians should have the right to bear arms, including weapons such as AK-47s and RPGs, in order to defend themselves against assailants like bandits who freely acquire and utilize these weapons to target innocent citizens. Governor Radda emphasized that the security challenges faced by governors should not solely be attributed to them, as they lack the authority to command military forces, the police, and other security agencies in dealing with security issues within their states.
Governor Radda urged the federal government to assume a more active role in safeguarding lives and property across the country. In response to the prevailing banditry in Katsina, his administration has legally established a ‘community watch corps’ in collaboration with the military to combat this threat. He stressed the importance of eliminating these hardened criminals and pledged an unwavering commitment to their defeat.
The governor also highlighted the establishment of an intelligence unit within the Katsina Community Watch Corps. This unit operates covertly to monitor the activities of the watch corps and gather vital information. Even traditional rulers and government officials, including commissioners, are subject to scrutiny, as no individual should be exempt from accountability in ensuring the safety and well-being of over 10 million people.
Governor Radda acknowledged the inherent challenges of the situation, recognizing the asymmetry in arms possession between law-abiding citizens and criminals. However, he emphasized the collective effort required to address this issue. Drawing inspiration from the successful model of the Civilian Joint Task Force in Borno, he highlighted the need for police and military support in ensuring citizen protection during security operations. Governor Radda also called for reforms within the federal government to enable legal possession of arms by individuals who seek to defend themselves and confront security challenges within the boundaries of the law.
While negotiations with bandits were considered a nonviable option in his view, Governor Radda noted that if circumstances were favorable, he would entertain discussions that could potentially lead to the reintegration of bandits into society upon their relinquishment of arms.
In conclusion, Governor Radda’s advocacy for accessible arms for self-defense reflects the urgent need to strike a balance between citizen protection and security challenges. By emphasizing the importance of a joint effort involving the federal government, local security agencies, and the empowerment of individuals, the governor aims to ensure the safety and well-being of the people of Katsina state.