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Presidency: No State Is Permitted To Purchase Automatic Weapons

According to the Presidency, no state has been given permission to purchase automatic firearms for its security forces.

This was said in a statement released on Tuesday by Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity.

He claimed that the President had made it quite clear that no one was permitted to carry an AK-47 or any other automatic weapon illegally and that those who did so must surrender them.

The law enforcement forces have been given clear instructions to deal with any such outlaws where they fail to do so, he continued.

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Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State had on September 22 criticized the federal government for opposing the Western Nigeria Security Network’s (Amotekun Corps) plan to use guns while permitting its counterpart in Katsina state to do so.

He asserted that it was against the principles of federalism to deny Amotekun the right to keep and carry arms in order to defend the state’s citizens.

However, the Presidency quickly responded on Tuesday, stating that according to the law, only the Office of the National Security Adviser could issue such authorization, after proper clearance by the President and Commander-in-Chief, and that “as it is at this time, no such approvals have been issued to any state government.”

Aminu Bello Masari explained in a letter that the administration had asked the Provost of the Civil Defense Training College in Katsina to instruct their Vigilantes for five days “in the handling and operations of Pump Action Rifles,” stressing that “the Vigilantes were not trained to take over the responsibilities of the security agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria but to assist them.”

The Presidency values the states’ active participation in security-related issues.

The collaborative efforts continue to produce positive results, blocking attempts by terrorists to wreak havoc and ruin on communities as they actively collaborate with law enforcement authorities of the federation and enhance their capacities.

“The President in particular has expressed delight that security organizations designated by state governments have been associated with various significant efforts over the last couple of years, and accounts of actions of the utmost professionalism and bravery have reached him.

“He expresses gratitude to them for their vigilance in thwarting evil plans against targets at the grassroots level.

He does, however, issue a warning against politicking security.

“The central government, which has a national mandate, cannot afford to antagonize Ondo State, or any other state for that matter, on the crucial issue of security, and it advises leaders at all levels to use moderation in their remarks, even though this is a political season.

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