Insecurity: Tinubu asked to disarm and subject herdsmen to state protection

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By Our Reporter

As the federal government grapples with the many manifestations of insecurity in Nigeria, the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been asked to disarm all herders, and others who may be in possession of prohibited weapons.

Speaking via a press release made available to newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, Chima Christian, the Executive Director of Africa’s Morning Centre for Public Policy and Good Governance, said herdsmen, just like every other citizen or resident of Nigeria, have no option other than subjecting themselves to the protection of the Nigerian State.

According to him, no individual or group, no matter how unsafe they may feel, is allowed by our laws to be found in possession of prohibited weapons. The full statement reads;

“One has to acknowledge the security risks faced by herders as they go about their legitimate businesses. While successive governments have pursued policies and programmes aimed at keeping Nigerians safe, the truth is that no one in Nigeria today, including herders, feels safe enough.

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“Even with this heightened sense of insecurity, crop farmers, businessmen, traders, artisans, fishermen, politicians, civil servants, clergy, traditional rulers, and indeed everyone else, including the president, submit themselves to the protection of the Nigerian state. So, there is no justification for turning a blind eye when herders confer a special status upon themselves to carry around prohibited weapons all in the name of insecurity.

“Moreover, it will be recalled that the Federal Government, under the leadership of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, in 2016, created a special military and police taskforce to deal with cattle rustling, and other security issues herders face.

“If this and other state instruments are not enough to offer herders the protection they need, we invite them to organize like everyone else and demand better protection from the Federal Republic. What they cannot do is to, in and of themselves, become the law. Or place themselves above the law.

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“All citizens of Nigeria are equal before the law. Even as we encourage the government to offer herders all the support they need to keep carrying on their businesses in a safe, profitable and sustainable manner, we insist that the constitution, and other extant laws, including the anti-terrorism law, and the law on the control of dangerous arms and light weapons, must apply equally to everyone.

“Africa’s Morning Centre for Public Policy and Good Governance calls on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to disarm all herders, and indeed other Nigerians who may be in possession of prohibited weapons. We recommend that a time-based amnesty be granted to all genuine herders and citizens of Nigeria to turn in their arms and embrace the protection of the Nigerian state.

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“If after this amnesty elapses, and people are still found roving about with prohibited weapons, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu must find the boldness to deploy the full levers of his office and invoke the full might of the Nigerian state to deal with such criminality. Africa’s morning is at hand,”

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