The Zamfara State Government has directed residents of the state to obtain guns to defend themselves.
The state government said it is time for the people to protect themselves from bandits ravaging the state.
The directive was contained in a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Dosara, circulated to the media.
Dosara explained that the measure became necessary following the deteriorating security situation in parts of the state.
While encouraging residents to remain vigilant, the Zamfara government said every purchased weapon must be licenced by the police before being used.
The statement reads;
“Following increase in the activities of bandits in various parts of the state and the government’s commitment to ensure adequate security and protection of lives and property of the citizenry in the state, particularly during this rainy season, the government has resolved to take further measures to deal with the recent escalating attacks, kidnapping and the criminal levies being enforced on our innocent communities.
“This act of terrorism has been a source of worry and concern to the people and government of the state. Therefore, in order to deal decisively with the situation in our respective communities, government has no option but to take the following measures:
“A. Government has henceforth, directed individuals to prepare and obtain guns to defend themselves against the bandits, as government has directed the state commissioner of police to issue licenses to all those who qualify and are wish to obtain such guns to defend themselves. Government is ready to facilitate people, especially our farmers, to secure basic weapons for defending themselves. The state government has already concluded arrangements to distribute 500 forms to each of the 19 Emirates in the state for those willing to obtain guns to defend themselves.
“B. People must apply from the Commissioner of Police, for a license to own guns and such other basic weapons to be used in defending themselves.
“C. A secretariat or centre will be established for the collection of intelligence on the activities of informants.
“D. people are strictly warned and advised to make sure that any information or intelligence about an informant must be true and nothing but the truth, as all information on such informants, must carry correct data on the suspects, including their pictures, correct names, address, occupation and witness, as government is taking punitive measures against anyone found to be an informant. Any person who gives wrong information against anybody will be served the same punishment as an informant and will be treated as such.
“E. Government has requested the state House of Assembly to pass, as a matter of urgency, the informants bill before it, to enable government take the drastic measures on informants as contained in the bill.
“F. Government has ordered for the recruitment of 200 additional Community Protection Guards in each of the 19 emirates of the state, making it 500 per emirate, to increase their manpower and strengthen its force and capacity to deal with the bandits.
The Zamfara state government further announced the formation of a special committee to receive intelligence on the activities of informants helping the police and security agencies.