Analysis: Nigerian state’s call to arms could spur state of anarchy

by | Jun 29, 2022 | World

On Sunday, the government of Nigeria’s northwestern state of Zamfara issued a directive for its citizens to “prepare and obtain guns to defend themselves against bandits”.While a number of state governments and top military officers have made similar calls in the past across parts of the country, this seems set to be the first formal process.
“Government has directed the state commissioner of police to issue licence to all those who qualify and are wishing to obtain such guns to defend themselves,” Ibrahim Dosara, the Zamfara commissioner for information, said in a statement on Sunday, on behalf of the state’s Governor Bello Matawalle.
The commissioner said the efforts would be handled by the 19 traditional rulers in the state who would be given 500 forms each to distribute in their emiratis to people without criminal records before the forms are sent to the police for vetting.
Guns are an everyday topic of dialogue in Zamfara, one of the hot spots of insecurity in a region sometimes referred to as the “Wild Wild West”, where banditry is rampant. Bandits have killed at least 250 people, abducted thousands more and razed many villages to the ground in the first half of 2022, in the state alone.
But the latest tilt in the discussion – to granting citizens permission to carry arms – could open up a state of …

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