PRESIDENT BUHARI'S OUTRIGHT BAN OF WEAPONS IN NIGERIA: A Mutual Assured Destruction.



We all can attest to the fact that the high rate of insecurity in Nigeria is at its climax, although this state of insurgency could be suspected to rise from 2012 till date, ranging from the outrage of Boko haram insurgency in the North, Militancy in the South, the fulani herdsmen in the middle belt, the Biafra agitation in the East and small indices of Armed robbery in the West that has kept the entire country in a state of restlessness, fear of the unknown, and violent death. All these negative occurrence has affected the country’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI ), partially inhibited business activities within these crisis ravaged areas as business  people are daily been affected in one way or the other, freedom of movement restricted, and all sort of barricade to free life for the ordinary Nigerian.

Despite all odds, the president’s decision in issuing an Executive order to eliminate out rightly the use of weapons whether licensed or not is not a more direct approach in curbing this menace in the country.

This outcry was raised today being 30th may, 2019 by a honourable member of the Federal House of Representatives; Hon. Dr. Nnena Lindah Okeji that Mr. presidents disarmament policy is a MUTUAL ASSURED DESTRUCTION (MAD) which is repugnant to an act of parliament, i.e the Nigeria Fire Arms Act (1990) and the right to self defense.

The Nigerian Fire Arms Act (1990) provides that no person shall have in his possession or under his control any firearm or ammunition except such person has a license from the President or from the Inspector General of Police.  It states further that no license or permit to carry fire arms should be granted to applicants under the age of seventeen; persons who are of unsound mind; persons not fit to have possession of the firearm in question on account of defective eyesight; persons of intemperate habits or anyone who has during the previous five years been convicted of an offence involving violence or the threat of violence. Therefore, there are provisions for the issuance of licensed weapon by the agency as spelt by the fire Arms act.
And it is believed 99.9% of licensed gun owners cannot perpetrate violence because they are believe to be economically buoyant and the guns and bullet are well registered.

The use of licensed guns is specifically for self-defense as it is legal by common law globally that there is a right for self-defense against any form of attack or aggression and practice by most countries of the world which Nigeria is not exempted.


The ban of all weapons including the licensed weapons might even worsen the situation in the sense that after the submission of weapons by licensed owners, it will give the perpetrators of these social vices more confidence to continually inflict more harm on the ordinary Nigerians and in a means of protecting ones own self against the oppressors will result to retaliation through illegal acquisition of weapons by the oppressed which will definitely lead our once peace loving country to a state of anarchy.


Another negative impact of this ban will affect our local hunters who makes their daily bread through hunting and leave their families to suffer from hunger.
It is equally worthy of note that most remote communities that are far from the police stations involves in community policing generally known as vigilante who most times uses the den guns and machetes to protect their communities against bandits. Therefore the resultant effect of Mr. President’s decision will leave this communities vulnerable for attacks which might cost more lives and properties.


More so, about 99.9% of the persons perpetrating this act of insurgency through the use of arms acquired these weapons illegally. This is visible with recent cases of heavy ammunitions being smuggled into the country from the seaport or probably from our border. Bearing in mind that Nigeria is surrounded by volatile states especially in the North and the bakasi peninsula in the south where the borders are porous for easy passage of illegal weapons.
  
Therefore, Mr. president ought to review   the procedures involved in licensing guns to civilians and if need be, make amends than outright ban. After highlighting all these indices, a more preferred structural framework or mechanism should be applied to lure these bandits, these kidnappers to surrender their weapons and if need be, rehabilitate them back to the society. This is because this decision is perceived to be a mutual assured destruction (MAD) rather than an act of disarmament and arms control as claimed by the executive order.




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