The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu on Sunday asked Commissioners of Police in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory to immediately recover all illicit arms, arrest and prosecute the owners of such weapons.
Adamu in a statement by force spokesman, Frank Mba, said the directive was against the backdrop of the “deliberate arming and movement of political thugs and other criminal elements across the country.”
The order by the Police Boss is coming as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), prepares to conduct off-season governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states.
Mba said in the statement that the order was 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 statement was titled, “Ahead of Edo and Ondo governorship elections, IG orders nationwide clampdown on the proliferation of prohibited firearms.”
It further disclosed that the CPs had also 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 were in conformity with the extant laws guiding their establishment and operations.
“The IGP, while observing that several civil groups – vigilantes, quasi-state 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 a serious threat to national security,” the statement said.