Chief of Defence staff says a Governor cannot direct Police Commissioner to issue gun license

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has said that the Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, does not have the powers to instruct the Commissioner of Police in the state to issue gun licenses to residents.

This is coming barely 24 hours after the Zamfara State Commissioner of Information, Ibrahim Dosara, in a statement, said that the state governor has ordered the state commissioner of police to issue licences to residents who are willing and qualified to obtain guns to defend themselves against the marauding terrorists and bandits.

This was made known by General Irabor on Monday in Abuja, while speaking in an interview at the Joint Exercise for the National Defence College and War Colleges of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, code-named “Exercise Grand Nationale,” where he expressed his disapproval at the measures taken by Governor Matawalle to secure his state against insurgency.

What the Chief of Defence Staff is saying

General Irabor said, “I do not think that is the right way to go,” he said firmly. “The basis for asking citizens to bear arms; I am yet to know I believe that the Attorney General of the Federation will look at the constitution, what the laws say and what the powers of the Executive governor are to be able to do with this.”

The 56-year-old also faulted the directive asserting that the first citizen of Zamfara state failed to use the available resources at his disposal to mitigate the insecurity issues within his domain.

“If what I read is true, I do not 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 right to issue licenses.

“There are other legal issues, other issues of governance that the governor could have addressed using the instrumentalities of the law available to bring greater peace and security. 

Irabor also clarified the position of the Armed Forces in the current administration, adding that it was not subject to directives from the state governments.

He said, “The armed forces are only an instrument of policy implementation,” the CDC added. “We do not take instructions from State Government, we have a Commander-In-Chief, and the constitution gives the right and the powers to the commander-in-chief.”

“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 the 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.’’

In case you missed it

Following the deteriorating security situation in parts of the state, Governor Matawalle directed residents of Zamfara state, particularly farmers to acquire guns to defend themselves against bandits and terrorists who appear to be ravaging the state.

Matawalle said the government also approved the immediate closure of all markets, and filling stations and banned the riding of motorcycles in Mada, Wonaka and Ruwan Bore districts as well as Yandoto emirate in Gusau and Tsafe Local Government areas of the state respectively, due to the deteriorating security situation.

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