Constitutional lawyer and human rights activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome, says President Muhammadu Buhari’s executive order on withdrawal of licenced guns from Nigerians was aimed at curtailing the self-determination aspiration of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and Niger Delta militants.
In a statement issued by the legal luminary and titled: ‘President Muhamnadu Buhari’s Executive Order Withdrawing Gun Licences: The Legal and Social Consequences,’ Ozekhome pointed out that the order exposes innocent Nigerians to the murderous activities of herdsmen, kidnappers and Boko Haram terrorists.
He said “Ordinarily, one would have readily applauded President Muhammadu for signing an Executive Order banning possession of guns, having regard to the unbridled proliferation and possession of small and medium scale politically motivated and banditorily-induced arms currently in circulation.
“However, Buhari’s sectionalistic perception of governance from the opaque prism of ethnicity and religious nuances do not give one such euphoric comfort of nationalistically induced decisions.
“It seems to me a panicky measure meant to forestall the threats by Niger Delta militants to declare their Republic by 1st of June, and also for the now historic struggle by IPOB for self-determination.
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“Whatever be his reasons, the president and his handlers appeared to have lost the larger picture of the citizens’ rights to life and self-defence. “Section 33 of the 1999 Constitution provides for the right to life.
“Section 258 of the Criminal Code which operates in the Southern part of Nigeria and sections 59-60 of the Penal Code that operates in the North, all guarantee the right to self defence and the defence of one’s property.
“What the Executive Order has unwittingly done is to leave honest and innocent Nigerians most vulnerable to the unrestrained murderous and blood-letting activities of marauders, herdsmen, Terrorists, armed robbers and kidnappers.
“People may now decide to possess these arms illegally and undercover as guerrilla tactics, since even a legitimate licence cannot guarantee same, after thorough screening by law enforcement agencies.
“The Executive order is also gravely flawed in the sense that those known and notorious to illegally possess these same arms, like herdsmen, were not even named at all.
“There now appears to be two sets of laws for Nigerians.
“Recall that the same government had incredibly set up a special radio network station for this over pampered set of ‘superior Nigerians.’
“No thought was given to the equally illiterate Nigerians of those communities whose wives are daily raped in their homes, children murdered in cold blood, farmlands invaded, crops eaten and such farms then set ablaze.