The rising spate of banditry attacks has forced the Zamfara and Benue state governments to ask their citizens to arm themselves with weapons for self-defence.
The Zamfara State government said it was ready to facilitate the securing of basic weapons for the people, especially farmers, to defend themselves against raiders.
A press statement signed and issued by the state commissioner for information, Ibrahim Magajo Dosara, said the commissioner of police had been directed to issue gun licences to those eligible to bear arms.
It stated that people must apply from the commissioner of police the license to own guns and such other basic weapons to be used in defending themselves.
Part of the statement reads: “Following increase in the activities of bandits in various parts of the state and the government commitment to ensure adequate security and protection of lives and property of the citizenry in the state, particularly during this rainy season, government has resolved to take further measures to deal with the recent escalating attacks, kidnapping and the criminal levies being enforced on our innocent communities.
“This act of terrorism has been a source of worry and concern to the people and government of the state. Therefore, in order to deal decisively with the situation in our respective communities, government has no option than to take the following measures:
“Government has, henceforth, directed individuals to prepare and obtain guns to defend themselves against the bandits, as the government has directed the state commissioner of police to issue licences to all those who qualify and are wishing to obtain such guns to defend themselves.”
It noted that the government was ready to help people, especially farmers, to secure basic weapons for the purpose of defending themselves.
According to the government, it had already concluded an arrangement to distribute 500 forms to each of the 19 Emirates in the state for those willing to obtain guns to defend themselves.
A secretariat or centre will also be established for the collection of intelligence on the activities of informants.
It warned people to ensure that any information or intelligence about an informant must be true as the government is ready to go tough against any one found as an informant, adding that any person who gives wrong information against anybody will be served the same punishment as an informant.