The federal government has advised Nigerians against taking up arms illegally to defend themselves against bandits and other forms of attacks in the country.
Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammed Dingyadi stated this on Tuesday during the second annual ministerial media briefing at the police headquarters in Abuja.
The minister was speaking in the wake of calls by some prominent Nigerians such as Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, asking citizens to defend themselves against bandits.
Reacting to Masari’s call, the Minister expressed that the Governor is entitled to his opinion.
“I think we should know that we are in Nigeria, where everybody is entitled to his opinion. I think the governor has the right to canvass for what he thinks is right in his state,” he said.
Dingyadi who acknowledged the insecurity prevalent in the country agreed that people need to take necessary measures to secure themselves and their communities, however, discourage any Nigerian from taking up illegal arms in the name of self-defence.
“Of course, we shouldn’t expect the people to just be sleeping without taking measures to ensure that they secure themselves, they secure their neighbours and they secure their communities. That is the essence of community policing.
“So, we need to have the support and partnership of Nigerians in the efforts we are making towards fighting crimes and criminalities. I think that is what the governor is talking about.
“Everybody should contribute his quota towards fighting crimes. We are not saying people should take arms illegally.”
Recall that last week, the governor of Katsina state Aminu Masari asked residents of the state to rise above meekness and defend themselves against bandits.
The security situation in large parts of northern Nigeria is worsening by the day, the activities of bandits increased with frequent kidnappings in the northwest and north-central regions, which has created an atmosphere of fear and underscored the high rate of insecurity.