In a ploy to address the recent challenges posed by insecurity within the country, the House Of Reps has reportedly initiated a bill that gives authority to every Nigerian from the age of eighteen to wild arms as a form of self-defense.
According to NewsOnline Nigeria, the House of Reps, who have long been deliberating on the issues of insecurity are contemplating passing on a bill for Act, to permit Nigerians from the age of eighteen to carry guns with the objectives of self-protection.
What is baffling to many Nigerian citizens, however especially in this new proposal, is the obvious contradiction in line with the earlier decree of President Muhammadu Buhari’s order to security services to shoot any civilian on sight that was bearing arms.
According to the reports of news correspondence VANGUARD at the weekend, a Bill to that effect, entitled: “Firearms Amendment Bill”, was proposed.
The proposal of guidelines for the new Bill which is promoted by Rep. Adejoro Adeogun, decrees 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: 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”.
Moreso, the Bill requires that the bearer of such arms, “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”.
Conclusively the Bill also asserts 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 offenses 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”.
Some Nigerians who though, concerned about the worsened crisis in the nation as a result of insecurity, did not take to kindly to the news of this bill promoting the usage of firearms simply because they are even more worried about the negative consequences that may arise should this Bill become finally endorsed by the federal government claiming that mismanagement and lawlessness and chaos might eventually turn out to be the other of the day as Nigerians from past presidency have a knack for blowing events and situations out of control.
Gift Joseph Okpakorese