OrderPaperToday – Lawmaker representing Chukum/Kyuru federal constituency of Kaduna State, Mr. Yakubu Barde, has called on the federal government to unban guns to enable Nigerians opportunity to defend themselves in times of attacks as it is currently being experienced in the country.
Justifying his call to unban guns, Barde also said the government has failed in it responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of its citizens as stipulated in the constitution.
According to him, “we should legalize guns. So 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. If I have better training I will kill you. I am calling that they should unban guns.
“Let all Nigerian share guns like phones. But before that let us be very careful also. The necessary machinery that should be put in place to ensure that if anyone commits crime with the gun, let justice catch up with him. Today if you legalize it, anybody who does not like you or you have the same girlfriend would just come and kill you. 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 Nigeria that fingerprint can be used to track down offenders. Do we have that? We do not have. For me it is even better that way than to be killed in the hands of the bandits”.
The lawmaker condemned the idea of payment of ransom for kidnapped victims by loved ones.
“I am not in support of paying ransom because you are emboldening them. The government can subdue them I strongly believe that. If the government cannot subdue them, then we are hopeless. Then we should defend ourselves. I heard the governor of Katsina say why should you stay in your room and they condemn and attack you. The question I want to throw back to the governor is which training and what equipment did you give that person to defend himself with. I support my governor saying he would not pay ransom, but maybe it was not necessary for him to say it”.
The Kaduna member almost shed tears while addressing journalists in the national assembly on Tuesday on the abduction of over 200 Baptist High School students and the killing of five of them and two other security officials in the course of the attack.
“I can tell you that two security personnel were killed yesterday, who wanted to prevent the kidnapped in Bethel Baptist High School. Authoritatively, I tell you that the number of security men that went there were just around 10, while the bandits were numbering even in hundreds.
“In Kakau just 10 days ago they kidnapped nearly 18 people and demanded for N200 million from that community. The chief called me if I could assist. I was taken aback because I did not know where to start from. Where do I raise N200 million to help. They negotiated and they said they must bring up to N150 million and the man who was negotiating said the community does not have that kind of money. Now in their desperation the next day they said they want to teach him an example, we were told to go and pick up the corpse of five of the abductees. I have the pictures I can show.
“They were killed. I am very emotional because I ask myself what is the joy of being elected when I cannot prevent the killing of my people. When the government is overwhelmed. If I tell you what happened, the trauma I received yesterday morning when this thing happened. A woman just called me I don’t not even have her number. The moment I picked the call, the woman asked ‘is that how you people will allow us to be killed and our children abducted? Is that what you are in government do for us?’
I later got to know her child was one of those taken from Bethel School. If you are in my shoes, what will you tell them?”
“Honestly the government has failed in terms of providing security for my constituents. I would speak particularly for my constituents. If they say they are doing their best, I would say their best is not good enough. Their best is a failure. 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 WAEC and they do not have lecture. 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 these 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.”