Self Defence: Chief of Defence Staff faults Governor Matawalle’s Comment

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, on Monday, faulted the call by Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara to people of the state to bear arms to defend themselves against bandits.

Irabor said the call was not right, as the armed forces and other security agencies were there to handle the challenges.

The CDS spoke to newsmen on the matter at the opening of the Joint Exercise for the National Defence College and War Colleges of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, code named “Exercise Grand Nationale,” in Abuja.

Irabor said he was yet to understand the basis for asking the citizens of Zamfara to bear arms, adding that it was the responsibility of the Attorney General of the Federation to look at the constitution and the laws to see whether the governor had such powers.

“I believe that, in my view, it is not the right way to go.

“Of course, there are actions that members of the security agencies and the armed forces, in particular, the police and other security agencies, are doing to address insecurity in Zamfara and environs.

Irabor said the armed forces was only an instrument of policy implementation, adding that it did not take instructions from state governments.

He said the constitution gave rights and powers only to the Commander-in-Chief for the use of the armed forces.

“I believe that what we are doing in Zamfara and of course, across the states of the federation, is in deference to the provisions of the constitution.

“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 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. 

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