By Emmanuel AddehÂ in Yenagoa
The police in Bayelsa State said Saturday that they had made a major breakthrough in the fight against crime in the state with the recovery of about 50 high-calibre weapons from suspected criminals.Â
Commissioner of police in the state, Mr. Don Awunah, told journalists during a press briefing at the command headquarters in Yenagoa that the various raids followed a directive by the Inspector General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris who was worriedÂ by the unlawful possession of small arms and light weapons.Â
He added that after a careful analysis, it was discovered that these weapons fuel and drive violent crimes, noting that the IG directed immediate mop-up of weapons in possession of suspected militias, bandits, Vigilante groups, and other related groups.
Awunah, while displaying the weapons before journalists saidÂ the command inaugurated a task force headed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police Operations, DCP Andy Amiengheme, for recovery of illegal weapons.Â
â€œThe Task Force immediately embarked on systematic crackÂ down on violent criminals throughout the State, which led to the recovery of arms and ammunition on displayâ€, he said.
Â Within the past one month, Awunah disclosed that Two AK-47 rifles, fourÂ pump action guns, one LAR rifle, one Berretta pistol, a Miami revolver pistol, 29 locally made pistols, two locallyÂ made cut-to-size Double barrel guns were recovered.Â
Others included one locally made double barrel pistol, five locally made revolver pistols, two locally made cut to size guns, oneÂ wooden gun, 58 unexpended cartridges and 9mm ammunition.
Â â€œ I wish to use this medium to warn those in possession of any category of the prohibited/illegal firearms and ammunitions, specified under chapter F.28 LFN 2004 fire arms act should submit same to the Police Command within the grace window period of one week from todayâ€, he said.
He listed the prohibited weapons as artillery, apparatus for the discharge of any explosives of gas diffusing projectile, rocket weapons, bombs and grenades, machine guns and machine pistols.
Other illegal weapons not to be carried by civilians include military rifles; namely those of calibers 7.62m, 9mm, .300inches,Â revolvers and pistols whether rifle or unrifled including flint-lock pistols and cap pistols.
Firearms such as pump action gun of all categories or other firearm/lethal weapons fabricated to kill, Awunah said, were not to be seen among the populace.