…Shooting of AK47 carriers long overdue -Gulak
By Omeiza Ajayi, ABUJA
A former Director in the Department of State Services DSS, Barr. Mike Ejiofor has described as senseless and bizarre, the call by an Islamic Cleric, Abubakar Gumi that the federal government grants amnesty to armed Fulani herdsmen who have taken to terrorism in some parts of the country.
This was as a former Political Adviser to the president and chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak has hailed the order by President Muhammadu Buhari to security agencies to shoot at sight, anyone saw wielding AK-47 rifles in the bushes or forests.
Also, the Convener, Northern Elders Forum NEF, Prof. Ango Abdullahi noted that what is more crucial is to identify those who carry such weapons and to what end.
Speaking in an interview with Vanguard, Ejiofor slammed the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai for telling Nigerians that it will take the country 20 years to stamp out the insurgency.
He said with the right approach by the Federal Government, Nigeria should not spend the next 20 years having to contend with insurgents.
Ejiofor said; “The issue is that people in government, especially politicians do not believe in telling the truth. Now that the man is out of office, he is seeing the realities on the ground. Does it mean he did not see this when they were telling us that the insurgents have been decimated and degraded? So, that is double talk as far as I am concerned. It is pure deceit.
“I do not believe that the fight will last for the next 20 years but as long as we do not adopt the right approach in battling the crisis, so long the crisis will remain with us. So, I do not agree that it will last for 20 years, but when we adopt the right approach, I think we shall overcome and win the ar against insurgency and this multifarious security challenges we are facing.
“What government needs to do is to change approach and tactics in the fight against insurgency. The government has taken the step of rejigging the security architecture by changing the Service Chiefs and we strongly believe that these new ones will come up with fresh ideas.
“But what is more worrisome now is that following the change, we have been having a series of kidnapping of school children. So, they should all go back to the drawing board, work out plans, synergize and see how this menace will be tackled.
“Government is not handling the matter the way it is supposed to handle it. This issue of negotiating with bandits who have no ideological aims and objectives or even demands to make and yet people are agitating that the government should negotiate with them. Negotiate with them on what grounds? What have they brought to the table?
“It is bizarre to think of negotiating with bandits. Why should they be negotiated with? These people have no aims, no objectives and they continue to wreak havoc on society, killing people and kidnapping innocent school children and I am beginning to suspect that this is in furtherance of the idea of Boko Haram who have come out to tell Nigerians that western education is forbidden. So, why are they not targeting politicians who are the cause of all the problems? Why are they targeting innocent school children who went to school to acquire knowledge? It is very worrisome and unthinkable that anybody would be advocating amnesty for bandits when Government is not even negotiating with Boko Haram that has talked about Islamizing Nigeria or IPOB that is asking for separatism. These are things that can be negotiated but that people are just there wreaking havoc and you are saying they should be granted amnesty. Amnesty for what? It is senseless as far as I concerned.
“I think we should as a matter of urgency reinforce our border patrols. The call by some people for a review of the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement, I don’t think it will being any solution because this is a protocol which we have signed. We should look at employing technology to monitor our borders especially in areas around the Sahel and Chad Basin where most of these arms are coming from. Some people claim that the arms are coming from Libya and I ask the question, Libya is not bordering Nigeria. We have Niger, we have Chad and we have more influx of arms I to Nigeria than into those countries bordering Libya. So, it beats my imagination how people can be talking about that”, Ejiofor stated.
Shooting AK47 carriers
Presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu had on Wednesday quoted the president as directing security agencies to shoot anyone seen with AK-47.
Shehu, who disclosed this in an interview with the BBC, said the president directed a clampdown on bandits who have refused to surrender.
On the efforts being made to rid Zamfara and other northern states of bandits, Shehu said the government is resorting to lethal force.
“The president has ordered security forces to go into the bushes and shoot whoever they see with sophisticated weapons like AK-47. He ordered that whoever is seen with terrible weapons at all should be shot immediately”, Shehu had stated.
However, speaking with Vanguard, Gulak said the decision was long overdue.
“This decision is long overdue. This could have solved a lot of problems had it come some five years ago. Better late than never”, he stated.
On his part, Prof. Abdullahi said; “AK47 is found both in forests and outside. What is always crucial is the identity of those carrying them and for what purpose”.