ABUJA, 12 March 2021 – Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has said the country’s security chiefs should go hard on criminals, including shooting criminals bearing AK-47 rifles..
Buhari spoke Thursday at the State House in the capital, Abuja, during a meeting of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria.
The session was co-chaired by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar III, and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi.
Buhari called on traditional rulers to use their roles and positions as bridge builders between their communities and government, complementing efforts by his administration in ensuring peace and security.
In apprising the meeting with efforts by his government to improve security across the country, Buhari claimed that his administration has scored appreciable successes in the North-East and South-South parts of the country.
“What surprises is what is happening now in the North West where the same people, with the same culture, are killing each other, taking their livestock and burning properties,” Buhari regretted.
The Nigerian leader explained that he held a four-hour meeting of the country’s National Security Council during which “one thing that got to the press which I read myself was that anyone with an AK-47 will be shot”.
“This is because AK-47 is supposed to be registered and it is only given to security officials,” Buhari said, admitting that the closure of borders to stem the proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons used in hostage-takings had not worked as designed.
The report “I’m getting on a daily basis is that those who are conducting the abductions, the killings and so on, are still not short of arms and ammunition,” the president said, regretting attacks by insurgents on members of the security forces.
Buhari reiterated his marching orders to the newly appointed Service Chiefs to reign in the security situation in the country, warning that the insecurity has inflicted grave harm to the economy as well.
“No investor will invest in a country that is unsafe,” Buhari added.
The security meeting was attended by the who-is-who in security in Nigeria: the Ministers of Internal Affairs, Defence, Foreign Affairs, Service Chiefs, Chief of Defence Staff, the Inspector-General of Police, among others.
Buhari said each of the attendees was given clear instructions.
The session at Aso Rock – the Nigerian presidential palace – was attended, among others, by security chiefs including the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, the Director-General of Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, and the Director-General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.