The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja has said allowing Nigerians to openly carry firearms will plunge the country into anarchy.
In the wake of the deadly Christmas eve attack on Barkin Ladi and Bokkos local government area of Plateau state during which over 200 people were killed, there have been strident calls for the government to allow citizens to bear arms.
Speaking on the agitation, the Army Chief dismissed calls for self-defence, saying granting such request would spell doom for the country.
He made his position on the matter know on Sunday on Channels Television’s end-of-year programme “2023: Year Of Transition”.
“I do not support that. I think that is a call for anarchy,” he said
According to him, the Nigerian Army can defend the country and as such, there is no need for self-defence.
He also said as part of efforts to beef up security in the Plateau, more troops are being deployed to the area.
“I have reeled out our plans for 2024 for Plateau State. The troops that we are deploying to Plateau, are on their way to Plateau now,” he said.
“This night or first light tomorrow, they should be on the Plateau. We are sending more equipment to enhance the efficiency of the troops.”
Over 50 villages were said to be affected by the attacks with President Bola Tinubu calling for a thorough probe.
The unprovoked onslaughts have sparked global outrage as the UN is urging the Federal Government to do a thorough probe into the incidents.
“I call on the Nigerian authorities to investigate this incident promptly, thoroughly, and independently, consistent with international human rights law, and to hold those responsible to account in fair trials,” UN rights chief Volker Turk said in a statement.
“The cycle of impunity fuelling recurrent violence must be urgently broken. The government should also take meaningful steps to address the underlying root causes and to ensure non-recurrence of this devastating violence.”