Ortom restates call for Nigerians to bear firearms

The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has reiterated his appeal to the Federal Government to allow responsible Nigerians bear arms to defend themselves.

He said this at a media briefing with newsmen in Abuja, on Friday. According to him, there is nothing sinister about his call because the safety of the lives of law-abiding citizens has come under serious threat.

Ortom explained that all he was asking for was a review of existing laws to accommodate current security realities.

He noted that the current regulation on the ownership of small arms such as Dane guns and double-barrelled guns was not in tune with current realities.

The governor said, “Right now, the policy (on licensing) we have is at the local government and state levels where Dane guns and double-barrelled guns are licensed; there is no way even pump action can stand AK 47.

“If the bandits, terrorists and criminals know that where they are visiting to attack or destroy property and steal, the people around there have sophisticated weapons like they have, they will caution themselves.

“What we are saying is that kidnappers, armed robbers and terrorists, none of them carry Dane guns, double-barrelled or pump action, they carry sophisticated weapons like AK 47; we can’t just fold our arms.

“For me, the call is a patriotic call. What I’m calling for is an upgrade of our laws based on the sophistication of crime. In the ’60s and ’70s, we never had criminals having AK 47 rifles and killing people like we have in the country today. I will write to the Presidency so that it will pass through the process of legislation.”

Speaking about the state anti-grazing law in the state, he explained that it was largely responsible for the relative peace being enjoyed in the state.

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