Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Ogun State Police Command has issued a 21-day ultimatum to persons in possession of illegal and prohibited firearms, to surrender such to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Eleweran, Abeokuta or the nearest police station.
In a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Abimbola Oyeyemi, and made available to journalists, on Tuesday, persons in possession of fire arms licenses, were equally urged to come for proper verification and revalidation of such licenses, warning failure to do so may lead to the arrest and prosecution of such persons.
Abimbola, disclosed the command’s directive followed the order of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, enforcing the Firearms Acts, banning the possession and use of illegal and prohibited firearms, ammunition, weapon and devices, locally fabricated or modified.
He added that the aim of the operation was to checkmate and enable the police to deal decisively with herders/farmers clashes, kidnappings, cultism, armed robbery, cattle rustling, militancy, terrorism, and other violent crimes.
The PPRO, however, warned that any person or group of persons who still posses any of the prohibited fire arms is found after the expiration of the ultimatum will be arrested and prosecuted.
Oyeyemi, an ASP, said a Police Task Enforcement Team had been set up by the Commissioner of Police in the state, to commence the mop-up, seizure and recovery of all illegal and prohibited firearms and ammunition from wrong hands, suspected militias, militants, and criminal/unlawful gangs.
The operation, according to him, will equally include cordon, search and raid, seizure from any premises, hideouts, dwelling houses or buildings or sites or any other locations where these illegal and prohibited firearms are suspiciously kept or being used.
“Members of the general public, individuals and groups such as vigilantes and neighborhood watch groups, town unions, hunters and watch night men or any group or association, under any capacity or guise other than statutory security agencies recognised and gazetted by the Federal Government of Nigeria to bear firearms of specified category; who are currently possessing and using prohibited/illegal firearms such as pump action gun and the likes for whatsoever purpose are hereby warned and given 21 days from the day of this publication to surrender it to the Commissioner of Police and be law-abiding.
“The aim of this operation is to checkmate and enable the police to deal decisively with herders and farmers clashes, kidnappings, cultism, armed robbery, cattle rustling, militancy, terrorism, and other violent crimes,” PPRO stated.