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Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor has asserted that no Nigerian state governor has the authority to acquire high-caliber weapons for use by quasi-security outfits.
He made this assertion while reacting to questions in the company of the Ministers of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, and Police Affairs, Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi after the National Security Council meeting which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
His reaction came barely few days after Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State gave the administration one-month deadline to approve his request to obtain an AK-47 licence or he would seek counsel from his people on the best course of action.
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Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State had earlier queried the granting of permission to the Kasina security outfit, whereas other state security outfits were denied to bear arms.
While responding, the CDS urged citizens to be weary and always read between the lines when certain requests were sought by governors.
He said 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.
General Irabor said AK-47 and ‘firearms fall into two major categories. You have the automatic weapons and the ones that we may classify as non-automatic weapons which some of you may even have if you have the appropriate licences. Talking about the Pump Action which is the very common ones, and sometimes even the dane guns some of the hunters use.
‘What is involved in the class that mentioned has to do with automatic weapons. There’s no state that has been given licence for that.’
Many Nigerians have recently joined the call to have state police as a means to fighting insecurity.