KATSINA- Governor Dikko Radda of Katsina State proposed that Nigerians should be allowed to buy sophisticated weapons like AK-47 and RPG for their protection from bandits.
The governor disclosed this at a media chat in Abuja on Friday, October 20.
Radda noted that governors should not be blamed for the security challenges bedevilling their states, adding that they lack authority to command the military forces.
He urged the federal government to play a more critical role in the security of lives and property of Nigerians.
The governor said his administration had legally established a ‘community watch corps’ to deal with banditry in conjunction with the military.
His words: “We are talking about the lives of over 10 million people not one single individual. No single individual is more important than 10 million people or the lives of an innocent person in the village.
“We cannot fold our arms and say we will not protect ourselves because we don’t have the sophisticated arms that these bandits have. We have the numbers, we have the zeal and the determination, and you should remember, if they are going for any outing, it is just like the way it was done in Borno through the Civilian JTF.
“They will be covered by the police and the military who are heavily armed. So, I think it is a concerted and joint effort. And I think gradually, we are working within what the law allows us to possess.
“We are driving towards that and we are seeking reforms within the federal government in that regard. If a bandit can go to the market and buy AK-47, RPG, and all of those weapons, what of the people that want to protect themselves? They too should equally be allowed to do so.
“These people are holding it illegally, we are trying to hold it legally. Why can’t the government allow the people to hold this thing and equally confront the challenges?
“Negotiations with bandits is a no go area in my perspective but I said if I am at the point of advantage, if the bandits come out and say look, ‘we are dropping arms, let us sit down and talk’, we could reintegrate them back into the society.
“But I will not go begging bandits to come for negotiations. Let us deal with the situation. If they are weak, let them come out, let us negotiate and we will reintegrate them back into society. They are our people, our brothers, but we cannot protect a criminal,” he said.