Arming Regional Security Outfits, Vigilantes Inimical to National Safety, IG Warns

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Mohammed Adamu,
Mohammed Adamu
  • Orders clampdown on prohibited firearms
  • Groups rally support for Na’Abba over DSS invitation

 

Chuks Okocha and Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, has kicked against arming of vigilantes, quasi-states and regional security outfits with prohibited firearms and weapons, saying it’s in contravention of the provisions of the Firearms Act, and a threat to national security.

“The IGP, while observing that several civil groups, vigilantes, quasi-states and regional security outfits under various guises are arming themselves with prohibited firearms and weapons in contravention of the provisions of the Firearms Act, notes that the trend if unchecked will pose serious threat to national security,” a statement by the Force Headquarters said yesterday.

The police boss, therefore, ordered a nationwide clampdown on prohibited arms, particularly against the background of impending governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states.

Adamu, according to the statement, ordered the commissioners of police in the 36 states of the federation to identify, disarm, arrest and prosecute illegal arm owners.

The statement said the clampdown on illegal arms owners had become imperative against the backdrop of deliberate arming and movement of political thugs across the country.

Signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), it said the order was aimed at containing the illegal possession of prohibited firearms.

It stated: “As part of preparations toward the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo states, as well as efforts by the police high command to curb the proliferation of prohibited firearms in the country, the Inspector-General of Police, IG M. A. Adamu, has ordered commissioners of police in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to immediately initiate appropriate actions to identify, isolate, disarm, arrest and prosecute any individual(s) or group(s) in possession of prohibited firearms.

“The directive has become necessary against the backdrop of the deliberate arming and movement of political thugs and other criminal elements across the country.

“In addition, the directive is targeted at addressing the proliferation and unlawful possession of prohibited firearms in the country, which is contrary to the provisions of Chapter F.28 LFN 2004 of the Firearms Act.”

The commissioners of police in all the states of the federation and the FCT were also directed to immediately convene an enlightenment meeting of all vigilante groups and quasi-security outfits spread across the country in order to ensure that their activities are in conformity with the extant laws guiding their establishment and operations.

“The IG enjoins citizens to cooperate with the police in the enforcement of this order as it is aimed at ensuring the safety of lives and property in the country,” it said.

 

Groups Rally Support for Na’abba over DSS Invitation

Meanwhile, the National Consultative Front (NCFront) and the Coalition of Northern Group (CNG) have condemned the invitation to one of NCFront’s Co-convener and a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Umar Na’Abba, by the Department of State Services (DSS).

CNG accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration of becoming more intolerant of opposition and criticism and gradually dragging the country towards becoming a police state.

NCFront, however, said it would lead a rally from its office in Abuja to accompany Na’Abba to honour the DSS’ invitation.
In a statement issued by Public Affairs Bureau, NCFront urged its members and sympathisers to converge on its national headquarters in Abuja for a major rally to solidarise with Na’Abba.

NCFront had claimed last week that DSS had invited Na’Abba, for calling on all Nigerians of conscience to join NCFront, a pressure group, in rescuing and saving Nigeria from anarchy and fear of impending doom.

Na’Abba had at a press conference on Monday appealed to citizens to join forces in creating a new Nigeria that works for all, stating that the way and manner governance is conducted suggests a high degree of irresponsibility at all levels.

He said: “For the avoidance of doubt, our only interest lies in creating inclusive democratic governance which is a sin qua none towards the provision of a decent living condition for the people and also the facilitation of prosperity for every Nigerian citizen.

“It is our desire to rescue our fellow citizens from the viper-like grip of poverty, while creating jobs for our teeming youths and masses, the majority of whom are roaming the streets of our country rudderlessly and hopelessly as we speak.”

NCFront yesterday called on all its organs, structures and allies nationwide to join the solidarity gathering today to escort Na’Abba who is one of its co-founders to the DSS headquarters.

CNG, in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, expressed concern about the current administration becoming intolerant of opposition and criticism and turning the country into a police state.

According to it, “We find this attempt to harass Na’Abba, a senior citizen and critical stakeholder in the nation’s democratic process, a brutal encroachment on the universal citizens’ right to freedom of expression, which is a fundamental characteristic of any democratic state.”