On August 18, 2020, the Minister of Territorial Administration (MINAT) Paul Atanga Nji (photo), sent a notice to governors of the Northwest and Southwest restricting the sales, possession, and use of edged weapons like machetes and iron. These restrictions will be enforceable for four (4) months, renewable if necessary.
The MINAT explained that these restrictive measures were motivated by the recent surge in the decapitation of honest citizens using machetes. As for iron, he indicated that it is used in the fabrication of homemade bombs and ammunitions for homemade guns. They “rejoice in filming and posting those barbaric acts on social media,” the official said.
He invites governors to survey all the hardware stores in the administrative units under their supervision as well as the stocks of machetes, axes, and iron.
Henceforth, "a citizen who wants to buy a machete must obtain authorizations from the territorially competent sub-prefect beforehand and justify their farming activities before any purchase," he prescribes. Also, apart from presenting an ID card, “the seller must collect the buyer's phone number and home address.”
For iron sales, the MINAT orders sellers to ensure buyers are building a house and that house has a building license before any sales. However, the implementation of these measures will somehow be difficult since the porosity of borders with Nigeria facilitates the importation of edged weapons.