Hon. Adejoro Adeogun

The House of Representatives may soon pass a Bill for an Act to permit Nigerians from the age of eighteen to carry arms for self-defense. This contradicts President Muhammadu Buhari’s order to security services to shoot any civilian bearing arms. President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, March 11, 2021 in Abuja emphasized that security chiefs have received marching orders to go harder on criminals, including to shoot anyone found illegally with AK-47. The president spoke at a meeting with the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria at the State House, co-chaired by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III and the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi. The meeting was attended by security chiefs of the country. Despite the order from Mr. President, the activities of bandits and other security challenges have not reduced but have been on the increase as kidnapping of school children is still on the rise.

The Bill sponsored by House of Representative member, Adejoro Adeogun, states in section 2 subsection 3, that “Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), a person shall be entitled to the grant of a license or permit under this Act if, at the time of application, the person is at least eighteen years of age and has a psychological evaluation certificate from a government hospital not more than six months, has a vision quality certificate from a government hospital not more than six months, has a police clearance certificate not more than twelve months, has a rifle club membership of at least six months and a firearms proficiency certificate issued by the club, and has a national identification number”. The Bill also demands that the bearer “Has a National Identification Number (NIN) issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC)”, adding that “The Inspector General of Police, shall maintain a manual and an e-register of such permits in force”. The Bill also states that “The Inspector General of Police may, with the consent of the Governor of the State, grant a permit to any person to carry on the business of manufacture and repair of the firearms referred to in Part III of the Schedule to this Act”. The bill seeks a jail sentence of at least 2 years for offences to the law. “Section 35 (2) of the Principal Act, is amended by substituting for the words, one thousand naira or imprisonment for two years, the words seventy-five thousand or imprisonment of not less than 2 years”. Different individuals and groups have been clamouring for Nigerians to carry arms just as the killer herdsmen carry their AK47 around terrorizing innocent citizens. Others are of the opinion that once the bill is passed, crime rate will increase as more persons carry arms in the name of self-defence.

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