No governor has power to acquire high calibre weapons, CDS declares

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor yesterday pointedly declared that no state governor in the country has the authority to acquire high caliber weapons for use by quasi security outfits in their jurisdiction.

Wearing a miffed demeanour while reacting to the question on the request by some governors seeking to arm their local security outfits, Irabor urged citizens to be weary and always read between the lines when certain requests are sought by states Chief Executives.

The CDS was joined by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola and his counterpart, Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi while the trio briefed newsmen after a National Security Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Recall that Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State recently stated that he had requested an AK-47 rifles’ licence but had failed to receive a response from the Federal Government after three months.

The governor consequently gave the administration one-month deadline last Thursday to approve his request to obtain an AK-47 licence or he would seek counsel from his people on the best course of action.

He spoke during the passing out procession of the second batch of the State Volunteer Community Guards at IBB Square in Makurdi, the state capital.

Also, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State recently faulted the Presidency’s denial that it did not grant permission to the Katsina State local security outfit to bear arms.

Specifically, Akeredolu had queried the granting of permission to the Katsina security outfit whereas other state security outfits were denied to bear arms.

Fielding question on firearms, Irabor declared that the deployment of high calibre weapons such as the AK-47 rifles among others lies strictly within the purview of the Federal Government security agencies alone.

He said Nigerians (journalists) must be able to read between the lines when certain comments are made to elicit certain reactions, as opposed to the reality with respect to what the security setting is.

He explained that AK-47 and indeed, “firearms fall into two major categories.”