National Security: Ohanaeze opposes Danjuma’s self-defence call

The Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has kicked against the clamour for everyone to be allowed to acquire firearms in Self-defence against bandits and other criminal elements in the country.

Recall that prominent Nigerians, including retired Army chief, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), have been clamouring for firearms for self-defence to enable Nigerians defend themselves against insecurity. But, in an interview in Enugu, the National Publicity Secretary of the organisation, Dr. Alex Ogbonnia, said allowing everyone to own firearms at this time in Nigeria’s history will be counter-productive.

Ogbonnia noted that in a society where there is a wide gap between expectations and fulfillment from government as well as frustrations, poverty, unemployment, criminalities, among others, it will be a problem to allow everyone to own firearms. The Ohanaeze spokesman, however, suggested that there should be five levels of security operations in Nigeria to tackle the high level of insecurity in the country but insisted that there must be proper screening of the levels.

While acknowledging the increasing level of criminal activities by bandits and others as well as clamour by prominent Nigerians for citizens to acquire weapons to defend themselves, Ogbonnia maintained that ownership of firearms by the citizens would not be the best way to fight back. He advised that communities should be encouraged to strengthen their vigilantes and increase their membership, adding that they should be well equipped to be in a vantage position to defend their people.

He suggested that the Federal, State, Local governments, among others should be allowed to participate in the five levels of security operations, restating that self-defence will be a problem at this period where there is restiveness, frustrations, among others.

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