President Muhammadu Buhari says he has given security chiefs orders to “go harder” on criminals and shoot anyone who possesses an AK-47 rifle illegally.
Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, quoted Buhari as saying this when he met with the National Council of Traditional Rulers on Thursday at Aso Rock.
The president said his administration has recorded “appreciable successes” in the north-east and south-south parts of the country, as regards security.
“What surprises is what is happening now in the north-west where the same people, with the same culture are killing each other, taking their livestock and burning properties,” Adesina quoted Buhari as saying in a statement.
“As a result of that, we had a four-hour meeting of the National Security Council attended by the ministers of internal affairs, defence, foreign affairs, service chiefs, chief of defence staff, the inspector-general of police and others and we gave clear instructions.
“One thing that got to the press which I read myself was that anyone with an AK-47 will be shot. This is because AK-47 is supposed to be registered and it is only given to security officials.
“We closed the borders for some years but the intelligence report I’m getting on a daily basis is that those who are conducting the abductions, the killings and so on are still not short of arms and ammunition.”
Buhari said traditional rulers should use their positions as bridge builders in their communities to complement government efforts at ensuring peace and security.
The president also appealed to the monarchs to assist the government in fishing out those whose goal is to cause mayhem.
“You are the bridge builders in each of your communities,” Buhari said.
“No one is better placed with your strength of moral authority to ensure that people who visit your communities for either business, leisure or any honest and credible reason are protected and made to feel at home.”
Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, was the first to disclose thatBuhari had givena shoot-on-sight order.