HE South-East chapter of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria has expressed its support for Governor Willie Obiano’s pronouncement of treating any herder illegally possessing firearms as a criminal.
The Chairman of the group, Gidago Sidikki, stated this on Thursday while reacting to a statement credited to Obiano wherein he ordered the police and other security agencies to treat any herder found in possession of an AK-47 rifle as an armed robber.
The governor had in a stakeholders’ security summit in Awka on Monday ordered security agencies to treat any herder carrying AK-47 as a criminal.
Obiano said the order would be in force after the state had taken a headcount of herders in the state.
Sidikki said, “The governor’s order is in line with the already existing agreement between the South-East governors and the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria.
“My members have been having a good relationship with their host communities in spite of some isolated cases of misunderstanding, which is normal in every human society.
In the same vein, Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu told the BBC Hausa Service in an interview aired on Wednesday that the order showed the seriousness with which the government was taking banditry, kidnapping, and other acts of terror.
“What can be stronger than the fact that the President has directed the operatives to shoot anyone seen with dangerous weapons like AK-47, on sight, in as much as the person is not a security operative?
“Government is doing this with all seriousness. The President equally directed that the security (operatives) should go after them and kill them except they lay down their arms,” Shehu added.
Ortom, speaking yesterday at the Government House Makurdi when he hosted the Chairman Governing Board, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Prof Adamu Kyuka, said: “I wish to commend Mr. President for his recent order against those bearing AK-47 rifles. This I am sure will reduce the high rate of criminality, banditry, and militia herdsmen attacks on our farming communities.
“I don’t only criticize, I also commend where necessary. And I want to say it is a shame on those psychopaths who were bashing me for writing to Mr. President because he has finally heeded my advice.”
The ACF said the security situation required extreme measures to curb, pointing out that AK-47, being a dangerous assault rifle, should not be handled by unauthorized persons.
It’s National Publicity Secretary Emmanuel Yawe said: “Though only lawyers can interpret the legality of the President’s order, that the President ordered people to be shot without trial is a legal issue.