Abimbola Akosile and Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
President Mohammadu Buhari has warned Nigerians that bearing firearms without licence is illegal in the country. The President also directed that whoever is found with such illegal firearms should be arrested immediately and prosecuted.
He also warned that no pardon can ever be granted to persons found perpetrating violence or promoting its occurrence in any way. THISDAY recalls that one of the charges being faced by the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) in his trial by the Federal Government is that of illegal possession of firearms, which were discovered in his house in Abuja during a raid.
The President, who was represented by his Vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, stated this yesterday at the graduation ceremony of the Senior Executive Course (SEC) 38 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos, Plateau State. He added that there was nothing noble about banditry and criminal violence and must therefore be stopped.
While condemning the pipeline vandalism going on in the Niger Delta region which he said has caused the nation billions of dollars in loss, the President said, “This act of hooliganism has far-reaching consequences on our national economy. The perpetrators of this act of vandalism are few and their motives are not necessarily alike.
“The huge degradation of the environment and the total neglect of the region (Niger Delta) due to corruption, shame policies and continuous vandalisation of facilities have led to poverty and violence.”
Buhari commended the graduates for the theme of their course which was on poverty reduction which he said was apt, adding that the Vice President has briefed him about the challenges faced by the institute which would be addressed by government based on the available resources.
On the remaining abducted Chibok girls that are still with the Boko Haram insurgents, Buhari said government is making frantic efforts to make sure that they (girls) are released safely.
On the bloody clashes between the herdsmen and farmers, he said there was evidence of infiltration of the rank and file of the herdsmen by militants involved in civil conflicts in Libya and Mali running away, with proliferation of small arms in large proportion made available to Nigerian criminal elements which now led to a breach of law and order.
The National Institute, which was meant to graduate 67 participants in yesterday’s ceremony lamented that one of the participants, Hajia Maimuna Abdullahi, a Permanent Secretary from Niger State, died last Thursday.
The Acting Director-General of the institute, Mr. Jonathan Juma, disclosed this at the graduation. He, however, said the deceased would be awarded the ‘mni’ title posthumously.
Juma explained that 67 participants registered for the course in February 2016 and successfully completed the course and would be awarded the prestigious ‘mni’. The theme of SEC 38, according to him, is “Strengthening Institutional Mechanism for Poverty Reduction and Inclusive Development in Nigeria.” He said during the participants’ course, they undertook study tours to 12 states in Nigeria, and six countries in and outside Africa.