The Governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, on Friday, August 21, repeated his previous suggestion that Nigerians should be allowed to carry AK-47 assault rifles because of the security problems faced in some parts of the country.
The governor repeated his stance while addressing journalists in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
He insisted that Nigerians need to be licenced to bear AK-47 rifles for self-protection and defence, in view of the general insecurity in the country.
His words: “I am not a security expert but as governor I receive briefings and I was able to do my independent investigation and knew that these people (armed herdsmen/bandits) are coming for an agenda.
Nigerians must wake up. If we don’t wake up we will all be consumed.
“I heard people complaining that Ortom called for Nigerians to be allowed to carry sophisticated weapons and that it would bring about anarchy.
“What about the Fulani herdsmen who are carrying AK-47 rifles and kidnapping innocent Nigerians, raping our women and destroying our villages and towns and becoming a terror to us.
“How about them? Why can’t we collect these sophisticated weapons from them? How many of them have been arrested? “I am aware that some of them have been apprehended but majority of them are still there with these AK-47.
“This is a suggestion that the federal government should take up seriously because in America people are licensed to carry sophisticated weapons but life is still going on.
“It is left for the federal government to look at it if my suggestion can be carried but for me, I still stand with my suggestion.”
The Benue governor insisted that his suggestion was harmless, saying those trying to twist his comment, and alleging that he was calling for anarchy should rather question herdsmen and bandits who carry arms across the country.
He said: “My call was out of passion. I’m asking for an upgrade of the existing policy of gun licensing.
Terrorists will caution themselves when they see that people are armed against them.
We must as Nigerians find ways to stop these people. ”When the Fulani Jihadists came, they said they came to take over Nigeria.
They came with an agenda. They came to impose religion, but people should be allowed to practice their religion in this country.”
He also said the Fulanis attacking Nigerians in the country are not from Nigeria, stressing that they are from neughbouring African countries.