Yakubu Barde, a member of the house of representatives, has asked the federal government to allow Nigerians “have guns like phones”.
Barde, a lawmaker representing Chikun/Kajuru federal constituency of Kaduna state and member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said this on Tuesday at a media briefing in Abuja.
The lawmaker was speaking on the recent abduction of schoolchildren in Kaduna.
Over 100 students were declared missing on Monday, following an attack by suspected bandits on Bethel Baptist High School in Damishi, Chikun LGA of the state.
The incident occurred about 24 hours after eight persons were abducted on Sunday, when gunmen attacked the staff quarters of the National Centre for Tuberculosis and Leprosy in Zaria LGA in the state.
“For me I think the time has come. We should legalise guns, so that if you know I have a gun and you are coming to attack me, all I need to do is to have small training over you — you have AK-47, I have AK-47. If I have better training than you, I will kill you. Simple!” he said.
“Yes, I, honourable Yakubu Barde, I am calling that they should unban guns. Let all Nigerian have guns like phones. But before that, let us be very careful also.
“The necessary machinery should be put in place to ensure that if anyone commits crime with a gun, let justice catch up with him.
“Today, if you legalise that, anybody who doesn’t like you or you have the same girlfriend would just come and kill you. That is the truth. Or one girl will kill another girl because they have the same boyfriend. And do we have the wherewithal to capture criminals like that? Do we have a database of Nigerians that fingerprint can be used to track down offenders. Do we have that? We don’t have. For me, it is even better that way than to be killed in the hands of the bandits.”
The lawmaker also noted that the government has failed in protecting the lives and property of the people.
“Honestly, the government has failed in terms of providing security for my constituents. I would speak particularly for my constituents. If there is anything said that they are doing their best, I would say their best is not good enough. Their best is a failure,” he said.
“Let us say it. How long shall we continue this way? Are we going to continue to live like this? As I speak to you today, to prevent these things happening, Kaduna state government has closed down 13 schools.
“Very soon, children are going to write WAEC exams and they have not had lectures. They are going to sit at home to write. Are we thinking of the future of these children? If you look at their own case, it is even better because they are thinking of writing exams.
“How about those abducted? Will they think of exams? They are thinking of their safety and every leader of concern should think of their safety. How are they feeding there? The trauma they will go through, some of them may not come back sane again. They may not be the same people.”
Barde asked the federal government to seek foreign assistance in tackling the insecurity in the country, adding that the military is overwhelmed.
“The federal government is overwhelmed and my call is that even the greatest of nations seeks for assistance, even America. Depending on what they want, they seek for assistance,” he said.
“Why can’t we in this country call a spade a spade and say we are overwhelmed? Let nations that are willing come to help us. Why? Is it because we are hiding something? If we are not, why can’t we call developed countries that are willing to join hands?
“When will the life of one Nigerian matter to us? Is it when we are all killed? For me, if there are moles in the military and they cannot be exposed, it means the moles are stronger than the government. That is evidence of failure of state.
“Do we want to be like Mexico where drug cartels kill at will? Today, if I tell you, from the place the children were kidnapped to a barrack in Kaduna is ten minutes’ drive. If you abduct 120 students walking on foot, how long would they go in 10 minutes that they cannot be rescued?”
The lawmaker also accused some military officers of being complicit in the fight against insecurity.
“On connivance with military personnel, for me it is very true. I want to believe it is very true. I remember an incident when there was to be an attack on bandits in Borno state. I think the aim of the government then was to use gas,” he said.
“But two days later, we saw the bandits with gas masks. Now, who told them? Can we say there are no moles in the military? But leadership is the ability to sieve the good, bad and ugly even in your organisation. If you have an organisation of 20,000 people, you cannot tell me they can be all good. There must be moles.
“Leadership is the ability to have the intellect to fish out moles among them. If the military cannot fish out the moles among them, then I am sorry I think there would be no end to this.”