Insecurity: Our Best Has Not Proved Good Enough, We Are Desperate – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said the government is becoming desperate in its attempt to quash the rising spate of insecurity across the country.
While addressing traditional rulers at the State House in Abuja, President Buhari said the shoot-on-sight order he gave earlier in March stemmed from the fact that the criminals threatening the peace of the nation seem not to be running out of armour.
“I assure you, we are doing our best, our best hasn’t proved to be good enough, and we are getting desperate.”
The president however noted that he has given orders to the military to ensure that in a few weeks the nation must experience a difference.
Speaking further, the commander-in-chief told the traditional rulers that the youths most especially must understand that making the country insecure will drive investors from coming into the country.
“One thing that went to the press which I read by myself was that Anybody with AK-47 should be shot because AK-47 is supposed to be registered and it is only given to security officials.
“We closed the borders you know for how many years, but the intelligence report I am getting on a daily basis shows that those who are conducting the abductions, the killings, and so on, still don’t seem to be short of arms and ammunition.
“I see how they attacked police stations, killed the police, ransacked the armoury and the magazine.
“The state government is saturated, the local government is saturated and nobody will bring a kobo to invest in Nigeria if we keep on making Nigeria insecure. And so that message must be told to the youths.”
President Buhari on Thursday, March 4, asked security forces to shoot anyone carrying a rifle in the bush, as part of efforts to secure the country.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, revealed this in an interview with BBC Hausa.
The directive appeared to be specific to bushes in Zamfara and other parts of Northern Nigeria.
“The president has ordered the security forces to go into the woods and shoot anyone they see with an AK 47 rifle,” Shehu said.
I can never clap for any president who gives a shoot-on-sight order – Falana
In reaction to the order, Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said such a directive should come from the president himself, and through a signed executive declaration.
Falana who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today said “By virtue of section 35 of the firearms act, the president has to make a proclamation with respect to the prohibition of possession of firearms and ammunition; that is the law. There has to be a proclamation.”
“This cannot be an announcement by a media aide of the president. The president has to make a declaration and sign it as if he is issuing an executive order and the condition would have to be stipulated because the announcement was to the effect that those who are carrying AK-47 in the bushes should be shot on sight.”
According to the SAN, it would be out of place to commend the president for issuing a shoot-on-sight order without the necessary legal backing, adding that innocent persons might also be affected.
The rights advocate argued that existing laws require that those with illegal arms should be disarmed, arrested, prosecuted, and jailed if found guilty.
“I can never clap for any president who gives a shoot-on-sight order. We criticised President Obasanjo when he gave a shoot-on-sight order to the OPC members. We criticised President Buhari when he gave a shoot-on-sight order on election riggers in 2019. We made it clear then and now that there are provisions of the law for dealing with election riggers, allegations of murder, possession of firearms,” he said.
“When you say go and shoot on sight, innocent people may be shot. Once the president has declared war as it were on bandits and terrorists and deploys armed forces, it implies that anybody caught with arms and ammunition would be shot, because they (referring to bandits) are killing innocent people, including raping women and killing children.
“What the law requires is that they should be disarmed, arrested, and prosecuted — if found guilty, they should be jailed. If the president wants to call for the death penalty, a bill has to be signed.”
My cry for help has finally received attention – Ortom
Meanwhile, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom commended the president for issuing the order.
The Governor, who gave the commendation in Makurdi, the state capital, said the President’s order would reduce the level of criminality, banditry, and militia herders’ attacks on Benue communities as well as in other parts of the country.
“I wish to commend Mr. President for his recent order against those bearing AK47 rifles. This I am sure will reduce the high rate of criminality, banditry, and militia herdsmen attacks on our farming communities,” the Governor said.
Ortom added that his cry for help has finally received attention; as he appealed for special intervention to rebuild schools destroyed by herdsmen attacks in the state.
“I don’t only criticise, I also commend where necessary. And I want to say shame on those sycophants who were bashing me for writing to Mr. President because he has finally heeded my advice,” he added.
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) March 5, 2021