*Commands clampdown on persons carrying arms illegally
*Regrets heightened tension in Edo ahead of guber election
*Directs CPs nationwide to convene meeting of vigilante groups
The Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu has at last taken action which goes to show that he is worried by the rising cases of violent crimes across the country.
By ordering a mop up of illegal arms and that arrest of persons carrying arms illegally should be carried out, IGP Mohammed seems to be acting in tandem with Nigerians who have been crying over the situation.
The IGP’s order comes ahead of the governorship elections taking place in Edo and Ondo States on September 19 and October 10 respectively, where some political rallies have been marred by violence.
Already, there is heightened tension in Edo State following violent attacks by persons suspected to be political thugs during political rallies in some local government areas of the state.
It will be recalled that last week, the Centre for Democracy and Development, CDD had raised the alarm over alleged stockpiling of arms and importation of thugs into the state.
However, in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Frank Mba, IGP Adamu directed the Commissioners of Police in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT to prosecute individuals or groups in possession of prohibited firearms.
“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, IGP M. 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.
“In a similar vein, Commissioners of Police in all the States of the Federation and the FCT have been 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 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,” the statement added.
IGP Mohammed therefore enjoins citizens to cooperate with the Police in the enforcement of the order as it is aimed at ensuring safety of lives and property in the country.
It will be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC had threatened to halt the elections in Edo and Ondo States if violence continues.