“The rising case of insecurity in [Nigeria] has given room for many debates,” allafrica.com reports, “one of which included the creation of state police to tackle the spate of general insecurity in the country.” Oh joy. “However, the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) added a new twist to the whole debate when it recently called the Federal Government to consider the relaxation of gun ownership laws as a way to reduce crime. In other words, [they] wanted more private citizens to have access to guns.” Wow. Nigerian doctors want their country’s 162m citizens to be able to exercise their God-given/natural right to keep and bear arms. Yes, well, according to allafrica.com, the docs’ desire to see their countrymen tool-up wasn’t entirely born of altruism . . .
The NMA argument also came amidst concern that “several doctors have been kidnapped even while on emergency and call duty within hospital premises.” . . .
NMA argued that over time, its members have become targets of kidnappers who make quick and easy money from the collection of ransom. One of such cases was the kidnap last year of a certain Dr. Stanley Uche, the proprietor of Victory Christian Hospital, Aba, Abia State. His corpse was recovered after a ransom of N30 million had been reportedly paid.
A few months ago, another doctor, Adegboyega Rufai, in Oko-Oba area of Lagos, was reportedly shot dead by unknown gun men who walked into the premises of his private hospital and requested an audience with him. Many medical directors of hospitals, including Dr. Adebowale Saddiq of Mount Arafat Hospital, Nsukka and Prof. Michael Ibadin of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Edo State, have also been victims of kidnapping since the escalation of the vice across the country.
The arguments ranged against the NMA’s push for gun rights indicate that gun control advocates are the same the world over. You know; more guns, more crime. More guns, more suicides. More guns, more political instability. Take it away (so to speak) Dr. Emmanuel Oga of the Society of Nigerian Doctors for the Welfare of Mankind:
As rife as gun violence is in Nigeria, there is reason to believe it could and would not be abated with easy accessibility of guns. Also, the “deterrent” argument is flawed; a criminal (who had no plan to kill ab initio) is more likely to kill his victim if he perceives the victim as a threat to his own life, such as a victim who owns a gun. If the to-be victim has a pistol, the criminals will show up with automatic rifle and so on. It is difficult to see how this benefits society.
Hard to say really. Unless you consider the most recent entries under “Nigeria” at genocidewatch.org, such as 14 October’s “Gunmen have opened fire on Muslim worshipers as they were leaving a mosque in northern Nigeria, killing at least 20 people, a local official said.”
Or look a little further back and consider the genocide (forced starvation) during the Nigerian Civil War (1967 – 1970) which claimed the lives of somewhere around three million civilians.
To combat religious persecution (a.k.a., terrorism), to establish a bulwark against government-sponsored mass murder, to create a right to keep and bear arms, Nigerians would have to ditch their firearms act, which states that . . .
No person shall have in his possession or under his firearms control any firearm… except in accordance with a licence granted in respect thereof by the Inspector-General of Police, which licences shall be granted or refused in accordance with principles decided upon by the National Council of Ministers.
Who’d a thunk it? Doctors on the front lines for gun rights? Educated people! It’s a fact which has not escaped the notice of one Ishiaku Abdul:
“That will mean lawyers, teachers and even journalists should also carry guns because they have often been targeted as well,” Abdul argued.
Yup. And the rest. Imagine that.