EMERGENCY DIGEST- With insecurity ravaging the nation, Zamfara state located in North-western part of the country could be considered one of the hottest in the zone. The government of the state gave directive to its citizens to obtain firearms for self-defence. After raising a few concerns, the commissioner of information Ibrahim Dosara came on National television to justify and shade light on the grey areas of the directive.
The commissioner emphasised that the directive does not confer an automatic right to own firearm, this move could still be perceived as a rather despirate move from the government to curb insecurity in the state. Considering how gun violence is rampant even in developed countries of the world, are the conditions set going to be met?
If this works, I fear the same government will have to battle the inherent insecurity from bandits, kidnappers and cattle rustlers alongside ‘gun violence’ which also threatens the most fundamental human right – The right to live.
Having these firearms amongst the citizenry of the state will most likely result to gun violence, accompanied with the following short or long term consequences.
Firstly, suicide will be a force that has to be reckoned with. The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported not long ago that about one billion people suffer from mental health disorders with depression topping the chart. With arms at disposal, anytime depression sets in, the quickest and easiest way out may be painless suicide which gun can offer especially with a shot to the right place or organ, thereby leaving behind orphans, widows and widowers.
Murder could also become the order of the days. Humans have emotions and tend to react to these emotions. With every grudge or misunderstanding, murder may be a means of retaliation since actions and reaction are opposite in direction. In the United States according to PW Research, of the 45,222 deaths as a result of gun violence in 2020, 43% were murder related.
There could be long-term physical and mental health damage suffered by the victims. Some may need life long care, those whose job require motor skill may lose it as a result. Emotional suffering from members of the family especially in cases where such violence results in permanent damage is also a possibility.
Furthermore, education and other social institutions will suffer lose. Parents will be scared of sending their children to schools and people will also not find it fancy to work in state where gun becomes a commodity all can own.
Other consequences may be lose of faith and respect of security agencies and agents, and other indelible impacts on the society.
Even though this may be an honest attempt by the Zamfara State government to end insecurity in the state, it could be more of a Licence to Kill not only the insurgents but the citizens it sorts to protect.
Mamman, a corps member writes from Abuja and can be reached via [email protected]