Revoking of Gun Licenses and Establishment of Fulani Radio: a Wrong Move?

Just recently, President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law, the revocation and banishment of all firearms or shotgun certificates in Nigeria. He did this with executive powers. This executive order took effect on the first day of June, 2019.

By implication, nobody in Nigeria is authorized or allowed to either carry or own a gun or any prohibited weapon. This is regardless of whether the person has a license previously issued in the past or not, which granted them access to carry any type of gun, weapon, prohibited ammunition, component parts or not. Such licenses are to become invalid as from the first of June.

Henceforth, the law authorizes only legit police officers and the Army to be in possession of guns and ammunition. As it stands, even the members of the National Security and Civil Defense Corps who were granted authority to make use of guns have also been prohibited from further usage of their guns and have been instructed alongside other Nigerians to hand over all types of firearms license or certificates issued to them in the past to the nearest police headquarters in their state of domicile. Emphasis was made not to return these certificates to any police station, but to the police headquarters, only.

Almost in the wake of this announcement by the Federal Government, Nigerians received with shock, another announcement that the federal government had made plans to set up an AM Radio Station for Fulani herdsmen. According to the Hon Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who confirmed the acquisition of the Radio Licence in Abuja, the Federal Government was making plans to secure funds for the procurement and installation of requisite transmission equipment for its successful take-off.

Nigerians have been thrown off balance by this announcement, especially as they also confirmed that the broadcast of this Radio station will be officially done in the Fulfude Language.

This act by the Federal Government is unconstitutional because the official languages recognized by the 1999 Constitution are English, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo. Section 55 of same constitution clearly states that those four languages are the only ones permitted to be used in conducting any official business of the National Assembly. The Fulfude Language of the Fulanis was not mentioned in any part of the Constitution.

Among the reasons given by the Federal Government for establishing the Fulani Radio Station was that it would help in the peace building efforts to address the herders/farmers clashes.

This is still a surprise to Nigerians because this same government had handled those clashes with kid gloves in the last four years of massive killing of innocent Nigerians by these same herdsmen.

Disarming citizens of illegal arms is a good idea. However, the problem lies in discovering what the motive for that decision is. Is it really altruistic or is it meant to serve the interest of those fearing that the Fulani could be targeted in the event of any further provocation from their people in the bush? There is also nothing wrong in establishing good radio stations but then, why a Fulani radio station since the government is already funding the broadcast in three major languages already.

The timing is wrong as it has already created tension in the country, being that it looks like a decision that is serving a lopsided purpose. It is a decision that should be halted until a time when suspicions about the Fulani threat have died naturally. It just might destroy the corporate existence of this country if not checked.

The National Assembly must react against this development and save the nation from further edging to the precipice of anarchy.