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AK-47: Buhari Govt Tackles Akeredolu, Ortom Over Calls To Arm State Security With Sophisticated Rifles

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Nothing Will Hinder 2023 Elections - Defence Chief, Irabor Boasts

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, has warned Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom, against procuring AK47 rifles for quasi security outfits.

Naija News reports that Ortom had given the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration one month deadline to approve his request to obtain an AK-47 licence or he would seek counsel from his people on the best course of action.

Also, Akeredolu had slammed the federal government for allegedly granting permission to the Katsina security outfit to carry sophisticated rifles, whereas other state security outfits were denied to bear arms.

Speaking to newsmen alongside the Ministers of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola and Police Affairs, Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi after the National Security Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Irabor urged citizens to be weary and always read between the lines when certain requests were sought by governors.

According to the Army General, the deployment of high calibre weapons such as the AK-47 rifles among others lies strictly within the purview of the Federal government security agencies alone.

The CDS noted that AK-47 and “firearms fall into two major categories. You have the automatic weapons and the ones that we may classify as non-automatic weapons which some of you may even have if you have the appropriate licences. Talking about the Pump Action which is the very common ones, and sometimes even the dane guns some of the hunters use.

“What is involved in the class that mentioned has to do with automatic weapons. There’s no state that has been given licence for that.”

Irabor stated that it is the sole responsibility of the federal government to grant licences, adding that it is also to be used by government security agencies and not quasi security forces.

“So, you do not ask for what you do not have power to acquire,” he stated.

On his part, Aregbesola stated that governors do not have the powers to procure fire arms for their local security outfits.

He said “No state government has been empowered to arm any of his security operatives or agency. None. So, the false claim that the state government is empowered by the federal government to have his own vigilante or sub national security outfit is false, absolute false!”

He explained the conditions precedent before licence to bear arms could be obtained for local use, but which, according to him, the governors had failed to meet.

“So, whoever wants to import ammunition, armarment or weapons is advised to go through the legitimate process of such activity or act,” Aregbesola said.

Also speaking, the Minister of Police Affairs, he said, “government had made it categorically clear that it has not issued licence to any state government or to the organisation to purchase firearms for subnational security measures.

“So, for anybody to say he has given timeline for the federal government to issue you licence, I think he should know that there are due process that one should follow to secure such licences.”

George Oshogwe Ogbolu is a Digital Media Strategist | Content Writer | Journalist | New Media Influencer | Proofreader and Editor at Naija News.