The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor has kicked against the recent call by Zamfara State Governor, Bello Muhammad for citizens to acquire arms to protect themselves.
General Irabor described it as inappropriate, noting that only the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces can authorise the use of firearms.
He said this at the commencement of Exercises Grand Nationale by participants of the National Defence College and the Tri-Service War Colleges of the Army, Air force and Navy.
“I believe that, in my view, it is not the right way to go.
“Of course, there are actions that members of the security agencies and the armed forces, in particular, the police and other security agencies, are doing to address insecurity in Zamfara and environs.
“Beyond that, of course, there are other legal issues, other issues of governance, issues that the government could have addressed using the instrumentality of the law that are available for him to bring greater peace and security.
“But like I said, I do not intend to say much about it, but I believe that the Federal Government, using the Attorney General, will look at the details of that press release and give further instruction.
“If what I read is true, I do not also think that the governor has the power to instruct the commissioner of police to issue licenses, because the commissioner of police does not have the powers to issue licenses.”
Irabor said the armed forces was only an instrument of policy implementation, adding that it did not take instructions from state governments.
He said the constitution gave rights and powers only to the Commander-in-Chief for the use of the armed forces.
“I believe that what we are doing in Zamfara and of course, across the states of the federation, is in deference to the provisions of the constitution.
“So, we are there because we are there to give support to the civil authority, in this case, the police.
“We do not need to restate what the issues are that have led to the deployment of military across the country but then, like I said, we are doing the very best to ensure that peace returns to every part of the country,” he said.