The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), have supported the call made by Governor Bello Masari for the people of his state to arm and defend themselves against bandits.
The ACF National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe said that he supported the Katsina governor to ask northerners to take up arms and defend themselves against the daily carnage of bandits in the region.
According to Emmanuel Yawe, the ACF was in full support of Masari’s order, stressing, “Governor Masari has said the right thing.”
He noted that Masari’s call on the Katsina people to arm themselves against bandits terrorising communities in the state was in order.
The National Publicity Secretary believed that it had been proven that bandits dreaded local hunters more than the regular forces.
The ACF spokesman stated that not all weapons were banned, saying that “in the rural areas, some people are armed with bows and arrows, even guns are allowed where police permit is issued because the arms are legal when such permits are issued.”
He recalled that local hunters in Adamawa gave Boko Haram hell, explaining that Boko Haram dreaded them more than the combined team of army and police.
Emmanuel Yawe further explained that the locals know the terrain more than the army and the police, “who are assembled from all over the country in line with the Federal Government policy on recruitments into government agencies,” adding that “no wonder they (local hunters) were recruited to join the fight against Boko Haram. Governor Masari has said the right thing.”
Similarly, the Middle Belt Forum, through its National President, Dr Bitrus Pogu stated that there is the need for government to buy and equip the people with weapons to enable them defend themselves against bandits’ attacks.
According to Pogu, he viewed the call as a welcome development, saying that if the governor has come to the reality of the security challenge facing the people, then let him go a step further and help the people to defend themselves.
He added, “This is necessary because there is a problem here. No doubt, the people are ready to defend themselves, but do they have the resources to acquire weapons? The answer is no. So, the whole thing reverts back to the government.”
Pogu was of the view that if the governor is serious about what he has said, “let him help the communities that are vulnerable to acquire weapons and license them in such a way that vigilantes in those communities would be adequately armed to enable them to face any security threat by the terrorists in their communities.
“If he can do that, the people will be able to defend themselves.”