Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District, Ned Nwoko has said civilians in Nigeria should be allowed to bear arms in self-defence in the wave of endless attacks by bandits and terrorists across the country.
He said the endless massacre of innocent and vulnerable persons encouraged him to introduce a bill to amend the existing law on civilian ownership of firearms purposely for defending themselves in time of unprovoked attack by criminal elements.
Speaking on Friday in Abuja, the lawmaker expressed optimism that the bill will sail through when Senators resume legislative business after a new year break.
He said massacre, abduction and killing of vulnerable persons have not abated despite the government’s effort at tackling insecurity, pointing out that the bill to own and bear weapons will empower civilians against criminals.
He described it as a ‘disturbing moment,’ the violent attacks in some Plateau communities leading to the killing of over 200 people with several others injured on the eve of Christmas by terrorists.
Nwoko said: “Considering these dire circumstances, there’s a growing call for responsible firearm ownership as a means of self-defence.”
Speaking on the stage of the bill, he said, the bill has been laid and will be read for the first time, when Senators resume from new year recess, insisting that it’s a pressing issue that must be given due attention.
“I am pleased that the topic has gained national significance, sparking diverse opinions and discussions that predominantly fall into two camps – one in opposition and the other in support.
“It’s evident that the existing security measures have not been sufficient in safeguarding our communities. Allowing law-abiding citizens to possess firearms could potentially provide a sense of security and a means to protect themselves and their families from immediate threats.”
He emphasized that the move to allow civilians to bear firearms comes with responsibility and stringent regulations with comprehensive training on how to use them.
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