Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Itse Sagay has implored the federal government to allow individuals, communities carry arms to defend themselves.
The professor of law in an interview with The Sun newspaper said the state of insecurity in the country has assumed a huge dimension and communities need to defend themselves against attacks.
According to Sagay, his greatest fear for Nigeria is disintegration, especially with the rise of ethnic warlords and the gradual breach between the north and the south.
“The country is really stretched. I have never seen this country like this before, where at every corner, there is somebody committing one violent crime or the other. Although it is more in the north, the south is not safe. In the south-west now, you can’t travel by road because people will jump out of the forest and stop and then abduct you. I have never seen a thing like this,” Sagay said.
“Really, the federal government ought not just to declare a state of emergency. It should have a major strategy session on this. A community would be sleeping, and then some people would just come and start killing them. I have made this suggestion before: we should all be armed so that anybody coming to attack you will know that he too has no chance of surviving. Communities should be armed; individuals should be armed. That is balance of terror.
“For example, if as a farmer, a village in the south-west is under the threat of Fulani herdsmen who one governor has said were entitled to wield AK-47 rifles which they carry about, then I need to carry mine so that when they come to my farm, we confront each other. He, with gun, and, I with gun, then he will know that it is dangerous to come to my farm. At that stage, when there is certainty that the man whom he is sent to attack can resist and use equal force, you will see that this thing will die down.
“The federal government should think of loosening the rules governing arms bearing and allow persons and communities that are under attack to have arms to defend themselves. Like in America, everybody has arms; if you are going to raid somebody’s house, you know that it is a big risk.
“Or, if it is a farmer and he is armed, you know it is a big risk going to kill him, to destroy his crops, to rape his wife or bring your cows to come and eat all that he has spent a whole year planting, probably with bank facility, destroy everything so that he has nothing to eat because you have cows? No, everybody is entitled to defence.”
Sagay also added that he doesn’t believe the current rise in insecurity across the country has anything to do with the 2023 politics.
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