The Federal Government on Tuesday dismissed calls by Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom, some individuals and organisations, that people should defend themselves against bandits.
The Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammed Dingyadi, during the 2nd annual media briefing at Force headquarters in Abuja, said the government was not in support of citizen self-defence as proposed, saying Masari and others are entitled to their opinions.
“I think we should know that we are in Nigeria, where everybody is entitled to his opinion. I think the governor has the rights to canvass for what he thinks it is right in his state,” the minister said.
The government and the armed forces needed the support of the citizenry as the government was “equal to the task”.
He added, “Of course, we shouldn’t expect the people to just be sleeping without taking measures to ensure that they secure themselves, they secure their neighbours and they secure their communities. That is the essence of community policing.
He, however, justified the calls if it is based on community policing strategies in order to improve security of the communities.