The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, says Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara lacks the powers to direct the state’s commissioner of police to issue gun licences to residents as a measure against insecurity.
Mr Irabor faulted Mr Matawalle’s call for the state’s residents to bear arms to defend themselves against bandits.
“If what I read is true, I do not also think that the governor has the power to instruct the commissioner of police to issue licences because the commissioner of police does not have the powers to issue licences,” he said.
The CDS spoke on the matter at the opening of the Joint Exercise for the National Defence College and War Colleges of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in Abuja.
Mr Irabo said the call was not right, as the armed forces and other security agencies were there to handle the challenges.
However, the CDS said 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,” he stated.
He added, “Beyond that, of course, there are other legal issues, other issues of governance, issues that the government could have addressed using the instrumentality of the law that are available for him to bring greater peace and security.”
Mr Irabor said the constitution gave rights and powers only to the Commander-in-Chief for the use of the armed forces.
“We do not need to restate what the issues are that have led to the deployment of the 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.