The Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, has advised Nigerians to strengthen community policing initiatives and not to resort to illegal self-help to combat insecurity.
Many communities across the country have been ravaged by the activities of violent armed groups responsible for the death and abduction of thousands.
The government’s failure to properly combat the wave of insecurity has fueled calls for private citizens to arm themselves and defend their homes from criminals.
Recently, Katsina State governor, Bello Masari, joined that call when he said residents in his state should acquire weapons and defend themselves.
However, Dingyadi said that Nigerians should not illegally acquire arms, and should instead strengthen community policing initiatives.
He said, “We need to have the support and partnership of Nigerians in the efforts we are making towards fighting crimes and criminalities.
“I think that is what the governor (Masari) is talking about.
“Everybody should contribute his quota towards fighting crimes.
“We are not saying people should take arms illegally.”
Masari last week said it’s morally wrong for people to submit cheaply to the bandits without any attempt to defend themselves, but millions of Nigerians are not allowed to own lethal weapons.
At least 1,772 civilians were killed between April and June in violent incidents including terror attacks, abductions, and gang clashes.
Over 2,300 people were reportedly kidnapped across the country between January and June 2021, with 237 people losing their lives in kidnap attempts.