Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Nigeria Police Force is set to mop up all illegal possession of arms especially in volatile states in Nigeria.
The Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, is said to be worried by the increasing rate of the proliferation of arms and ammunition in the country by “violent criminals and criminal gangs… who have continued to kill and main innocent citizens”.
Meanwhile Baylesa State Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Police Command, Donald Awunah, has ordered a crackdown on all weapon-wielding criminals in the state.
Awunah in a press statement noted that in line with the directive of the IGP, a task force headed by a Deputy-Commissioner of Police would embark on an aggressive crack down on violent criminals in the state.
The statement advises that those in unlawful possession of arms to surrender them to the Police within 21 days.
It also warned that the Police would not hesitate to deal with any group, vigilante, or community security outfit found to possess arms.
The statement read in part:
“Subsequently, the IGP has directed a crack down on weapon-wielding violent criminals and a comprehensive mop-up of illegal arms in the country. The Bayelsa State Police Command therefore will henceforth treat and prosecute persons arrested for unlawful possession of firearms and trafficking in illegal weapons as terrorists, armed robbers, kidnappers and cultists.
“The Command will immediately embark on aggressive crack down on violent criminals throughout the State. To this end, the Command has set up a Task Force on illegal firearms headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations. The task force is saddled with the responsibility to mop-up illegal firearms in the state among other firearms related infractions.
“The Command will not hesitate to deal decisively within the ambit of the law, persons, group of persons, vigilantes, neighbourhood watch groups and community vanguards arrested for possession of illegal weapons.
“However, persons or group of persons who directly or indirectly are in possession of illegal firearms or ownership of any weapon of any nature or calibre are in their own interest advised to surrender such arms to the nearest Police station within twenty one (21) days from date.
“The Command calls on all the peace loving people of Bayelsa State to cooperate and assist the Police in ensuring that peace, security and community harmony reign supreme in the glory of lands – Bayelsa State”