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Zamfara governor cannot direct CP to issue gun licences – Gen Irabor

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has stated that the Zamfara governor, Bello Matawalle, lacks the power to instruct the Commissioner of Police to issue gun licences to the public.

This follows a statement by the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Ibrahim Dosara, on Saturday, telling individuals to obtain guns to defend themselves against bandits.

According to Channels TV, General Irabor expressed his disapproval in an interview at a joint exercise for the National Defence College and War Colleges of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, code-named “Exercise Grand Nationale,” in Abuja on Monday.

“I do not think that is the right way to go. The basis for asking citizens to bear arms… I believe that the Attorney General of the Federation will look at the constitution, what the laws say and what the powers of the Executive governor are… he said.”

“If what I read is true, I do not think that the governor has the power to instruct the Commissioner of Police to issue licenses because the commissioner of police does not have the right to issue licenses,” Irabor said.

The medium quoted the army chief faulting the governor for not using resources at his disposal to mitigate the insecurity in his state.

He added that the armed forces were in Zamfara to give support to the civil authority,” in this case, the police”.

Embargo on firearms

Similarly, the State Commissioner of Police, Ayuba Elkana, has said the embargo on firearms licence is still in force, noting that the police has stopped issuing a licence to civilians.

The police boss stated this, on Sunday, in response to inquiries from The PUNCH about the directive by the state government that the police should issue gun licences to residents.

He however said he has not received any directive to issue gun licences.

Elkana said, “I have not received any directives and also, there is a ban on firearms licence and we don’t give licence. I have not seen the directive, so I cannot comment on compliance.”

Asked if the government’s decision was a vote of no confidence in the police, the CP replied, “There is nothing like a vote of no confidence, please.

This is farming season and you cannot get police or any security to be following everybody to the farm. They are attacking people on the farm; that is the problem. It is not as if we are not doing our best; we are doing our best, he told The Punch.

Writing by Abdullahi Lamino