Governor Matawalle, General Irabor Clash Over Arms Directive

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Igboeli Arinze, FCT


Following the directive by Governor Bello Matawalle in which he urged  his people to acquire firearms, there seems to be no love lost between the governor and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor .

Irabor had faulted the directive while responding to questions from journalists where he stated that the Zamfara governor, Bello Matawalle, lacked the power to instruct the Commissioner of Police of the state to issue gun licences to the public
Irabor said:
“I do not think that is the right way to go,” he said firmly. “The basis for asking citizens to bear arms; I am yet to know I believe that the Attorney General of the Federation will look at the constitution, what the laws say and what the powers of the Executive governor are to be able to do with this.”
“If what I read is true, I do not think that the governor has the power to instruct the Commissioner of Police to issue licenses because the commissioner of police does not have the right to issue licenses,” Irabor said.
“There are other legal issues other issues of governance that the governor could have addressed using the instrumentalities of the law available to bring greater peace and security.”
Irabor also pointed out that the Armed Forces in the current administration was subject to the President and Commander in Chief and  not s to directives from state governments.
“The armed forces are only an instrument of policy implementation,” the CDC added. “We do not take instructions from State Government, we have a Commander-In-Chief, and the constitution gives the right and the powers to the commander-in-chief.”
“So, we are there because we are there to give support to the civil authority, in this case, the police.
“We do not need to restate what the issues are that have led to the deployment of the military across the country but then like I said, we are doing the very best to ensure that peace returns to every part of the country,” he said.
But in a riposte to the CDS, the Governor of  Zamfara State stated that his directive for citizens to bear arms was meant to complement the efforts of security forces in the ongoing war against insurgency.
Matawalle stated this today, Monday while inaugurating four special committees at the Government House in Gusau.
The four special committees established today include Committee on Intelligence Gathering and Bandits’ Informants, Committee on Prosecution of Banditry Related Offences, Management of Community Protection Guards and Special Standing Security Committee.
Matawalle lamented  that a number of communities had witnessed attacks from terrorists, especially within Bukkuyum, Gusau and Gummi Local Government Areas of the State.
As the Chief Executive of the state , Matawalle vowed that his administration will continue to explore strategies to  protect Zamfara citizens and ameliorate the sufferings endured by its citizens in the hands of the terrorists.
He noted that though his administration  was aware of the efforts of  the security forces in facing the bandits but that such was not enough, hence the directive  that the people should procure weapons to defend themselves against the terrorists.
Governor Matawalle  also announced that the state government would provide 20 Hilux vehicles and 500 motorbikes to the special Committees to make their assignment much easier.

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