Terrorism: Zamfara Gov Directs Residents to Acquire Guns to Defend Themselves

*Orders CP to issue licences to citizens

*Bans motorcycles, shuts markets, filling stations in two LGs

Francis Sardauna in Katsina 

Miffed by what he termed the deteriorating security challenges in Zamfara State, Governor Mohammed Matawalle has directed residents of the state, particularly farmers, to acquire weapons to defend themselves against the prevailing activities of terrorists in the state.

Consequently, the governor has ordered the state commissioner of police to issue licences to residents who are willing and qualified to obtain guns to defend themselves against the marauding terrorists.

Matawalle, in a statement issued to journalists Sunday by the state Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Magaji Dosara, said the government would distribute 500 forms to each of the 19 emirates in the state for those willing to obtain such self-defence weapons.

He said the government has approved the immediate closure of all markets, filling stations and banned riding of motorcycles in Mada, Wonaka and Ruwan Bore districts as well as Yandoto emirate in Gusau and Tsafe Local Government Areas of the state respectively.

The governor explained that the government has ordered for the recruitment of 200 additional Community Protection Guards (CPG) in each of the 19 emirates of the state to boost their manpower and capacity to tackle banditry and other heinous crimes in the state.

He added that the government also approved the formation of additional paramilitary units in order to properly and effectively reinforce the operations of the state’s community protection guards.

The state statement reads: “Government has henceforth, directed individuals to prepare and obtain guns to defend themselves against the bandits, as 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. 

“Government is ready to facilitate people, especially our farmers, to secure basic weapons for defending themselves. Government has 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. 

“People must apply from the Commissioner of Police, license to own guns and such other basic weapons to be used in defending themselves. A secretariat or centre will be established for the collection of intelligence on the activities of informants”.

He added: “In addition to this, the government has equally banned riding of motorbikes and selling of petroleum products in Mada, Wonaka and Ruwan Bore districts, as well as Yandoto emirate. Henceforth, all filling stations on the affected areas are hereby closed with immediate effect. 

“Anybody found riding a motorbike within the areas is considered as bandits and security agencies are thereby directed to shoot such persons at sight. Security agencies are by this announcement directed to ensure strict compliance”.

He reiterated that anyone found violating the order would be dealt with in accordance with the rule of law, warning, however, that government would not condone any act where innocent people are being killed.

He, however, said the security measures taken by the state government were to deal decisively with the recent escalating attacks, kidnapping and the criminal levies being enforced on innocent communities by the terrorists.

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