Governor Dikko Radda of Katsina State says the Federal Government should reform its laws to allow people to buy arms for protection.
He made the comment during a media chat in Abuja on Friday, wondering why people cannot buy arms to defend themselves when criminals have access to firearms.
“It is a double-edged sword. 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,” he said.
“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 an 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?”
Governor Radda also maintained his stance on no negotiation with bandits, saying it is a no-go area.
But 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”.