Cephas Iorhemen, Makurdi
Erstwhile National Coordinator of the Fulani Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Benue State chapter, Alhaji Garus Gololo, Sunday advised Governor Samuel Ortom to continue to agitate for the dredging of River Benue in order to become a seaport rather than calling on the Federal Government to grant licenses to responsible citizens to hold weapons like AK47s.
Governor Ortom had last week urged: “The Federal Government to grant licences to responsible citizens to carry sophisticated weapons such as AK47s to deter criminals from attacking innocent and helpless Nigerians”.
He said: “The policy should be backed by a strict legal framework to prevent illegal possession of arms by the citizenry without exception.”
But Alhaji Gololo reacting to Ortom’s position in an interview with journalists in Makurdi, stated that government’s granting of licenses to those he (Ortom) described as “responsible citizens” to hold sophisticated weapons like Ak47s to protect themselves, would not end killings and other criminal activities in the country.
The APC chieftain maintained that possessing arms by individuals in Nigeria would rather worsen the security situation.
“It is very wrong for number one citizen like Governor Ortom, who is supposed to make peace and ensure that there is unity, to start making inciting comments by telling the Federal Government to give licenses to responsible citizens to carry sophisticated weapons such as AK47s.
“In a society like ours in Nigeria, how do you know that this person is responsible and so he should be allowed to bear arms. If everyone should have a gun in his or her house, it means that the society will no longer be safe.
“Ortom should advocate for the dredging of the River Benue to become a seaport instead of calling on government to allow people to acquire and possess guns. Is that the problem of Nigeria?
“Ortom should provide fertilizers to farmers to go to their farms and make other farming implements available to Benue citizens to enhance agricultural development rather that agitating for individuals to acquire guns licenses,” he argued.
Alluding to the proposed Miyetti Allah Vigilante Group, which Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore said is embedded in the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) and functional in Benue and 35 other states of the federation, Alhaji Gololo noted that the establishment of such outfit would be the best thing to happen to any Fulani socio-cultural group.