The Military High Command, on Monday, flayed the call of Zamfara State government for residents to take up arms and defend themselves against marauding bandits and terrorists.
Recall how the Zamfara government directed residents of the state, particularly farmers, to be prepared to defend themselves.
The State governor, Bello Matawalle, asked the Commissioner of Police to work out the modalities for gun licence to residents willing to bear arms to protect themselves.
But reacting to the development, the Defence Chief said he did not see the basis for such call at such time in the country.
He said it was expedient for stakeholders to follow the rules and constitution accordingly.
Irabor said, ”We do not take instruction from the state governments. We have a Commander-in-Chief. The constitution gives the right and powers to the C-in-C for the use of the armed forces and I believe what we are doing in Zamfara State and across the states of the federation is not different to the provisions of the constitution.
“We are there to give support to the civil authority in this case, the police. We are there to ensure that peace returns to Zamfara. The governor does not have the powers to ask the CP to issue licences. I am yet to get the details but I do not think that is the right thing to do.”
The Defence Chief said the federal government through the Attorney-General of the Federation should be in a position to address the issue.
“I do not see the basis. My view is that the AGF will look at the Constitution and what the constitution says. That’s the right way to go. The armed forces are in Zamfara but beyond that I believe there are legal issues that should be addressed using the instrumentality of the law to bring peace and security.”
“I believe that the federal government through the Attorney General should look at the details of the press release. If what I read is true, I do not believe that the governor has the powers to instruct the CP to issue licence because the CP does not have the power to issue licences.
”Like I said the AGF will do much about it. We have the armed forces in Zamfara, military, police, NSCDC but beyond that I believe there are legal issues”, the Defence Chief maintained.
Speaking on the Joint Exercise for the National Defence College and War Colleges of the Armed Forces of Nigeria code named Operation Grand Nationale, the defence chief said the essence of the operation was to review the programmes of the training colleges and the war colleges.