The Nigeria Police Force, Ebonyi State Command yesterday, issued an ultimatum to residents, hoodlums and the state-owned vigilant outfits to submit illegal firearms and ammunition in their possession within 14 days.
This was contained in a statement issued by the state police commissioner, CP Philip Maku and made available to Hanoky Media.
The directive emanated from the Force Headquarters, Abuja and commences on 16th August 2020.
CP Maku further warned members of the general public, individuals and groups such as vigilantes, town unions, hunters and state-owned security outfits called Neighbourhood Watch to bear firearms of specified category.
The statement read, “It is important to draw the attention of the general public to Part II (3) of the schedule of the Firearms Act L.N32 of 1959 “which prohibits the possession of firearms mentioned in Part 1 of Firearms Act except in accordance with a license granted by Mr. President”.
“To this end, the Command has set up a Police Joint Task Enforcement Team headed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Command Operations with a mandate to commence the mop-up, seizure and recovery of all illegal and prohibited firearms and ammunitions from unauthorized persons, suspected militia groups, criminal/unlawful gangs”.
“The Operation will equally include cordon, search and raid, seizure from any premises, hideouts, dwelling houses or buildings or sites (completed or under construction) or any other location where these illegal/prohibited firearms are kept or on reasonable suspicion are believed to be kept”.
“Also, members of the general public, individuals and groups such as vigilantes, town unions, hunters and Neighbourhood Watch/Watch Night men or any group or association under any capacity or guise other than statutory Security Agencies recognized and gazetted by the Federal Government of Nigeria to bear firearms of specified category”.
“And those in possession of such firearms are given fourteen (14) days from today, 16th August 2020 to surrender them to the Task Force team or to any nearest Police Station they are domiciled”.
“This Operation which among other purposes, is aimed at full enforcement of the Firearms Act, mopping-up and recovery of all prohibited firearms and illegally acquired weapons will enable the Command deal decisively with the prevailing security challenges ranging from Kidnappings, Armed Robbery, Banditry, Cattle Rustling and other related crimes in the country”.
“Again, Area Commanders and DPOs are under strict instruction to carry out and enforce this Act in totality in their respective areas of responsibility”.
“The Area Commanders and DPOs were also directed to convey security stakeholders meeting immediately to sensitize and educate the members of the general public on this development”.
“The renewed commitment of the Command to guarantee safety and security of Lives and Property across the state remains unambiguous and unwavering”, he noted.