The Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has challenged the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja over his remark that Nigerians should not be allowed to carry arms despite the rising attacks in the country.
Lagbaja had said during an interview that self-defense under the guise of the recent attacks on communities in Plateau state amounts to “anarchy”.
According to the Army Chief; “I do not support that. I think that is a call for anarchy.”
But in a statement released Monday, the Middle Belt Forum argued that the directive from COAS was not in the overall interest of the people.
National President of the MBF, Dr. Bitrus Pogu insisted that it is time for Nigerians to carry higher grades of arms to defend themselves against terrorists and criminals.
He said any order restraining Nigerians from carrying some form of arms to defend themselves while marauders kill with sophisticated weapons, will amount to a conspiracy against the people.
Pogu said; “I completely disagree because the security agencies are not adequately protecting Nigerians as Nigerians are being killed like Chickens. Before now, Nigerians were allowed to carry some category of arms which are not up to the military grade. And if they have such arms, at least they can protect themselves.
“But when you have people (criminals) in the bushes with sophisticated weapons and their location is known and yet they are left there; even areas are left for them; and yet they want Nigerians to stay as chickens to be killed by these criminals. It means there is collusion to have Nigerians killed.
“Nigerians should be allowed to carry at least some arms to defend themselves. Before now we had some category of arms, short guns and so on, which were allowed. This should be allowed and should remain allowed. Anything short of that means there is a conspiracy against Nigerians.
“Whoever made that statement should go and have a rethink. Already there are categories of arms allowed for Nigerians and it should not be stopped. In fact Nigerians should have higher level of arms to defend themselves because it has been proven that security agencies have not been able to protect Nigerians”.