The federal government has asked Nigerians not to take up arms illegally to defend themselves against bandits.
The minister of police, Muhammed Dingyadi said this on Tuesday during the second annual ministerial media briefing at the police headquarters in Abuja.
The minister was reacting to the comments made by some prominent Nigerians asking citizens to defend themselves against bandits.
In recent times, the country has seen a spike in the activities of bandits, especially in the northern part of the country.
Last week, the governor of Katsina, Aminu Masari asked residents of the state to rise above meekness and defend themselves against the bandits.
But while speaking on Tuesday, Dingyadi said the governor is entitled to his opinion
“I think we should know that we are in Nigeria, where everybody is entitled to his opinion. I think the governor has the right to canvass for what he thinks it is right in his state,” he said.
“Of course, we shouldn’t expect the people to just be sleeping without taking measures to ensure that they secure themselves, they secure their neighbours and they secure their communities. That is the essence of community policing.
“So, 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 is talking about.
“Everybody should contribute his quota towards fighting crimes. We are not saying people should take arms illegally.”
The minister while acknowledging the level of insecurity in the country, said citizens to play their role in securing their communities
“What we’re saying is that people should get ready in whatever it takes to do so, to ensure that we protect ourselves, we protect our neighbours, we protect our communities,” he said.