Nigeria: Buhari Restates Shoot On Sight Order for Illegal Possessors AK-47

(file photo).
11 March 2021

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja emphasized that security chiefs have received marching orders to go harder on criminals, including to shoot anyone found illegally with AK-47.

The President spoke at a meeting with the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria at the State House, co-chaired by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar III and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi.

The meeting was attended by security chiefs including the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, the Director-General of Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, and the Director-General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

The President, who apprised the meeting with efforts by the government to improve the security situation in the country, said his administration has recorded appreciable successes in the North-east and South-South parts of the country.

"But what surprises is what is happening now in the North West where the same people, with the same culture are killing each other, taking their livestock and burning properties.

"As a result of that, we had a four-hour meeting of the National Security Council attended by the Ministers of Internal Affairs, Defence, Foreign Affairs, Service Chiefs, Chief of Defence Staff, the Inspector-General of Police and others and we gave clear instructions.

"One thing that got to the press which I read myself was that anyone with an AK-47 will be shot.

"This is because AK-47 is supposed to be registered and it is only given to security officials.

"We closed the borders for some years but the intelligence report I'm getting on a daily basis is that those who are conducting the abductions, the killings and so on are still not short of arms and ammunition," he said.

The President expressed dismay on the attacks on police stations and killings of security personnel by criminals, warning that no investor will invest in a country that is unsafe.

President Buhari also stressed the need for traditional rulers to use their roles and positions as bridge builders in each of their communities to complement government efforts at ensuring peace and security.

He appealed to the traditional leaders to deploy their reach and influence in the best interest of assisting the Government to root out those whose sole objective remains to cause trouble and destruction of livelihoods and families across the nation.

The President, who listened to various interventions from representatives of the traditional rulers from each of the six- geo-political zones in the country, pledged that his administration would continue to support and work collaboratively with them to ensure peace and stability.

Restating his marching orders to the newly appointed Service Chiefs to bring the security situation under control, the President noted that closer control can only be achieved with the cooperation and collaboration of traditional rulers and authorities, who occupy a critical role in our society.

"By your role and positions with history dating back hundred years, the people trust you implicitly and in return you provide them with comfort and guidance in accordance with our cultural heritage and traditions.

"You are the bridge builders in each of your communities. No one is better placed with your strength of moral authority to ensure that people who visit your communities for either business, leisure or any honest and credible reason are protected and made to feel at home," he said.

In separate remarks, the royal fathers stressed the need for the traditional institution to be assigned definite roles, particularly on peace and security, within the ambit of the Constitution as well as regular engagement with the National Assembly on multiple fronts.

The following royal fathers made interventions at the meeting: the Sultan of Sokoto, the Ooni of Ife, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, the Etsu Nupe, Alh. (Dr.) Yahaya Abubakar, King Jaja of Opobo, Dr. Dandeson Douglas Jaja, Emir of Bauchi, Dr Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu, Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammad Iliyasu and the Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Ajibade Alabi.

Speaking to State House correspondents on their behalf, the Etsu Nupe, Yahaya Abubakar said they harped on the need for the government to urgently address the situation.

He said: "We gathered ourselves and feel that yes, there is a need for us to come and let the President know that the situation is telling very hard on our people and there is a need to take urgent and immediate steps to actually check the situation."

He said the royal fathers have decided to go back to the old tradition of identifying visitors in their domains and also share intelligence with security agencies, so as to ameliorate the situation.

The delegation consisted of selected rulers from the six geo-political zones of the country.

He said they offered to help the government address the problem by sharing intelligence with security agencies.

"We commiserate with the President on current happenings, especially banditry activities, killings, kidnapping and destruction of lives and property within the country.

"We discovered that the situation is getting too much on our people, our land, our culture and tradition so we feel as traditional leaders, we are close to our people and we know what is happening to them.

"So, we narrated stories of this banditry and other crimes to the President, as we see it in our domains. We requested that the President consider and put us in a position whereby we can directly or indirectly help the situation so as to curtail these excessive insecurity activities.

"Having given each zone that was represented the opportunity to address the meeting, the President also asked the security agencies to respond and they did so by giving us assurances and explained the plans already on ground to checkmate the challenges.

"He also requested from us to go back to our domains and ensure we garner our traditional and cultural outfits in terms of securing our respective domains, which we have been doing and will continue to do," he narrated.

The Etsu Nupe also said the security agencies requested for more personnel and equipment so as to perform to the best of their ability.

"We on our part, we will intensify our grounds to ensure we gather intelligent information that the security agents will use in carrying out their respective duties," he added.

The Monarch said the council of traditional rulers commended the government under the leadership of president Muhammadu Buhari, for the steps it has taken so far, to ameliorate the situation.

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