The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has said that the Zamfara state governor, Bello Matawalle, does not have the constitutional authority to instruct the state Commissioner of Police to issue gun licenses to the public.
Recall that on Saturday, June 25, the state Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Dosara, disclosed that the state governor has given approval for residents of the state to arm themselves with guns which they can use to defend themselves against bandits. The residents are expected to receive approval from the state police Commissioner of Police.
However, speaking to newsmen at the Joint Exercise for the National Defence College and War Colleges of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, code-named “Exercise Grand Nationale,” in Abuja on Monday, June 27, General Irabor expressed his disapproval at the measures taken by Governor Matawalle to secure his state against insurgency.
“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.”
Speaking further, the Defence boss said
“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.
“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” he said