The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, on Friday, stated that illegal bearers of AK-47s contribute to the insecurity in the country and need to be shot on sight.
Irabor made this call in Asaba, the Delta State capital, stating that the presidential directive to shoot on sight anyone with an AK-47 rifle was very clear and must be enforced.
According to him, the proliferation of illegal arms in the country was a threat to Nigeria’s corporate existence.
“The mandate of the President for dealing with everyone holding AK-47 illegally is a mandate that must be enforced because we are a state that does not condone illegal bearing of arms,” Irabor said.
He added: “The armed forces and other security agencies are the only institutions that are mandated to carry arms in the course of their duties.
“So anyone who is carrying an AK-47 or any other weapon, for that matter, is considered a threat to the existence of the state.
“And because he is an enemy of the state, it must be addressed; so it’s not a question of my view but rather a question of having to carry out the mandate of Mr. President.”
Irabor said the Armed Forces, in partnership with other security agencies, would do all that is necessary to bring peace and security across the land and Nigeria “certainly will know peace again.”
Buhari had issued the shoot on sight order last month following the outcry of Nigerians over the activities of AK47 bearing individuals, many of them herders.
The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said on a BBC Hausa interview that Buhari ”ordered security forces to go into the bushes and shoot whoever they see with sophisticated weapons like AK-47.”
The President, according to Shehu, also “ordered that whoever is seen with terrible weapons at all should be shot immediately.”