The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights has said that the shoot-on-sight order given by President Muhammadu Buhari to security agencies against anyone bearing AK-47 rifles will be effective if the military begins to invade all the forests where bandits and criminal camp in the country.
The CDHR noted that since the AK-47 rifles were not found in “bus stops and shopping malls,” it meant the military should take the battle to the hideouts of the criminals.
The CDHR National President, Dr Osagie Obayuwana, stated this in a release on Sunday on the state of insecurity and the state of the nation.
He said, “The CDHR receives with mixed feelings the news about the charge by way of ultimatum given by President Muhammadu Buhari to the new set of Service Chiefs a few days ago.
“The President is reported to have directed the Service Chiefs to secure the country within the next five weeks before the raining season sets in. The President is reported to have given the directive on Friday, March 5, 2021, on the decoration of the newly promoted Service Chiefs at the State House in Abuja.
“It is however unsettling, even though the sentiment is understandable, that the President directed the Service Generals to restore and free the country from the current state of insecurity ‘before the raining season sets in, and this is intended to give the farmers the confidence to go back to their farms’.
“The CDHR calls for elaboration on this, especially given that in many parts of the country, the armed herdsman/farmer face-off continues to rage. How does the marching order fit into the existing deadlock? One would have expected a general call for the armed bandits posing as herdsmen, to be given an ultimatum, this time from the Presidency or Military Headquarters, to surrender their arms within a given period or face extinction.
“To the CDHR, the shoot on sight order reported to have been made by Mr. President, will only have meaning when the soldiers march into the forest. This is especially so as those with AK47 rifles are not at bus stops and shopping malls, they are in the bushes and forests. Besides, Mr. President needs to be reminded that it is not only farmers who are at risk; travellers on most highways in Nigeria are at the mercy of rifle wielders, who have made a sport out of pouncing on vehicles in between cities and towns.”
The CDHR also condemned the incessant kidnapping of schoolchildren, saying it would be happy to see “modalities being worked out between federal, state, and local governments to enhance the development of infrastructural facilities in all schools, a principal part of which ought to be fencing and security facilities.”