•Cautions against selective implementation
Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has lent its weight to President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to security agencies to shoot on sight illegal carriers of sophisticated weapons such as AK-47 rifles, saying it will bring sanity to the chaotic security situation in the country.
It, however, cautioned against the selective implementation of the presidential directive.
The National Publicity Secretary of PANDEF, Hon Ken Robinson, told THISDAY yesterday that his group will support any lawful decision of the government to end the banditry, kidnapping and killings in the country.
According to him, drastic situations can only be resolved by equally drastic actions as the horrendous occurrences in the country require extreme measures.
He said since the nation’s laws did not permit individuals to carry AK-47 rifles, except military officers, there was no justification for anyone to do so.
“But Fulani herdsmen and bandits have been operating freely with AK-47 and other sophisticated firearms; killing and maiming innocent people across Nigeria as the federal government has been condoning these criminals for too long.
“A sitting Northern governor even had the irrational audacity to defend herdsmen carrying AK-47, saying they used it to protect themselves from cattle rustlers,” he added.
PANDEF urged Nigerians to presume that the government has awakened to the gravity of the situation that renegade herdsmen and bandit are a threat to the unity and peace of Nigeria, and are undermining the nation’s territorial integrity.
It said: “The president’s reported order to the military to shoot on sight anyone seen with an AK-47 rifle in the bush if executed dispassionately will stem the criminality and lawlessness being perpetrated by bandits and herders in parts of the country.
“PANDEF would, therefore, caution that the execution of the order should not be selective and discriminative as it has been with everything under this administration. Otherwise, the situation would be like going out of the frying pan into the fire.”