Nigerians have begun to lambast President Muhammadu Buhari and some governors over comments to summarily shoot anyone illegally seen carrying an AK-47 rifle.
President’s spokesperson Garba Shehu Wednesday said Mr. Buhari has directed the military to shoot whoever is seen with sophisticated weapons like AK-47 at sight.
Mr. Shehu said the president’s directive was to clampdown on bandits terrorising parts of the country and have refused to surrender.
The directive seems to go well with some governors. Benue governor Samuel Ortom said the directive will make communities safer for already displaced farmers to return home and farm.
But activists and lawyers have faulted the directive, saying Nigeria is not a jungle where anyone with arms should be shot at.
Human rights activist, Iniebehe Effiong, told Peoples Gazette that such a directive of the president is not legal and possession of arms is not a capital offence under the firearms laws.
Mr. Effiong explained that anyone could be found with an AK-47 in the bush including security personnel who carry arms while on mufti, saying Nigeria is not a jungle but a country governed by laws and the president should follow the law or resign.
“If you see people with AK-47 in the bush even if they are bandits, you can disarm them but if they refuse and exchange firearms with the security personnel then they can be shot.