Senate Moves To Establish Commission Against Illegal Use Of Guns

A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, during plenary at the upper chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

The Senate has considered a bill seeking to establish the National Commission Against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons.

The sponsor of the bill, Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC– Kogi West), noted during plenary on Wednesday that the functions of the Commission when established will include: identifying sources and routes of small arms and ammunitions, identifying those involved in the illicit trade; and providing harmonisation of intelligence and information collection.

According to Adeyemi, the proliferation of small arms and weapons is a phenomenon responsible for destabilising peace and development and threatening the national security of some countries in Africa.

“The proliferation of these weapons affects the intensity and duration of violence and encourages militancy rather than a peaceful resolution of unsettled differences,” he said.

Citing a United Nations report, Adeyemi also raised concerns that “a substantial percentage of illegal arms that is in circulation in West Africa is in Nigeria.

“This has fueled violent conflicts as witnessed in the Niger Delta, kidnapping in the South East, Armed robbery pandemic in the South West, Ethnic-Religious violence on the Plateau, and the Boko Haram operations in the North-East, a situation which has plunged the nation into a serious state of insecurity,” the lawmaker added.

Speaking further, he warned that the uncontrolled arms have also impacted on the country’s democracy and development negatively.

“Electoral violence by gun-wielding thugs and assassinations of several political leaders since 1999, have jeopardised free and fair elections in many states of the federation,” he said.

“There are numerous ways by which small arms can be smuggled into the country because of their light-weight and concealable nature. Trucks have been used to smuggle arms into the country, while a number of them are brought in on donkeys, camels and on foot.

“Similarly, Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) are transported through waterways, boat to add of arms from great lake’s conflict areas have been reported to have been discharged at Warri and Bonny towns of Niger Delta.

“Also, Small Arms Survey (SAS) has reported on Malian arms smugglers packing small arms in waterproof sacks, attaching them into the bottom of bots for transfer to countries along the River Niger.

“The effects of illegal arms and weapons of terror in Nigeria are self-explanatory and calls for concerted efforts by all and sundry to successfully prosecute this war against terror. The support, collaboration and involvement of all genuine stakeholders is a condition precedent to winning the war,” he added.

Senator Adamu Aliero while lending his voice in support of the passage of the bill, accused men of the Nigerian Customs Service of conniving with arms dealers to smuggle in small arms into the country through the borders.

He added that if the bill is not passed into law by the National Assembly, “violence will continue” unabated.

Another lawmaker, Emmanuel Bwacha in his contribution, cited the United States as a country without strong gun control laws, adding that “they are paying dearly for it today”.

“It is better to have control of arms than allow every dick and Harry to possess arms. In doing this, we must do it with genuine intention,” Bwacha advised.

Contributing to the debate, Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC– Nasarawa West), lamented that the proliferation of small arms has become a thriving business because those involved in the illicit trade are not apprehended by the relevant security agencies.

The bill which scaled second reading on the floor during plenary was referred by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to the Committee on National Security and Intelligence, to report back in four weeks.

Rivers State Police Parades Criminals, Recovers Ammunition And Vehicles

river state police-ammunition The Rivers State Police Command has arrested 200 suspects involved in armed robbery, kidnapping and cultism as well as recovered over 26 cars, 500 arms and ammunition.

The state’s Commissioner of Police, Chris Ejike on Wednesday, disclosed the success recorded by the police at the stock taking and parade of the suspects at the police headquarters in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

The force was however, launched to stem the rising tide of crimes in the state.

The suspects include a Lance Corporal of the Nigerian Army who fled from his base in Borno State due to Boko Haram insurgency.

Mr Ejike emphasised the success recorded by that his command’s one month emergency on violent crimes.

The Police Commissioner also highlighted his achievement since assumption of office saying: “On assumption of duty as the 34th Commissioner of Police, Rivers State, in the last days of June 2015, I realized the enormity of the challenges vis-a-vis efficient delivery of satisfactory service to the people of the State.

“The crime-wave was getting higher, driven by increase in kidnapping and armed robbery incidents. These were fueled by cultism. Homicide cases and communal crises across the State were causing concern. Traffic gridlock added to this heap. Therefore urgent strategic steps had to be taken.

“During my visit to His Excellency, the Governor echoed above sentiments and charged me to address these challenges. He indicated his willingness to support us and has taken immediate positive steps in this direction.

“In my inaugural address of 2nd July 2015, I said my focus would be to provide qualitative services to the people of the State; fight violent crimes with vigor; partner with other security services and non-state actors; respect the rights of the citizens; abhor corrupt practices; promote professionalism and ensure peace, security and safety for the State and its people.

“We have taken these steps and I am therefore using this forum to highlight the major achievements recorded within the past 3 weeks; Re-awakened the service zeal and orientation of the average Policeman in the State. They must justify their pay by performing reciprocally, their expected duties, responsibilities and functions.

He also said that the Emergency on anti-crime is working and more policemen are now on the road to ensure the state is peaceful.

Militant Group Surrenders Arms To JTF In Yenogoa

A militant group in Bayelsa State whose sole aim of handing over weapons ranging from ranging from guns, ammunitions, live tortoise and other fetish materials is to stop the violence being inflicting on the Niger Delta region and also partake in the 3rd phase of the amnesty program has done exactly that as they handed over their weapons to the Joint Taskforce (Operation Pulo) shield in Yenagoa on Friday, as they gave up the struggle.

The group, led by Inaemi David, 31, who is the head and commander of the group confessed to carrying out numerous attacks on oil pipelines in the Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

David, who led members of his group to the JTF Headquarters in Yenagoa on Friday including a female member who was put in charge of the handover process, said they decided to surrender their weapons because of their resolve to embrace peace and live normal lives.

“We realised there is no peace in our lives; we felt tired of living a life of militancy, so we approached the JTF and informed them of our resolve to surrender our arms and munitions. After due consultations, we were convinced that if we take this positive step to surrender our weapons, it will bring the dawn of a new life for us,” David said.

David now repentant claimed that he leads an army of over 50 foot soldiers in the Niger Delta struggle and it was frustration and deprivation in the region that a lot of the youth into the militancy thing.

“We went into militancy not to kill but to show our frustration to the government. We want the government to know that the Niger Delta people have a right to the possession of our resources,” he said.

David bore it all on arrival to the base of the Joint task force (Operation Puloshield) in Yenagoa, as he disclosed the location of the militant group which he claimed is at the creeks of Odioma Community of Brass Local Government Area of the state as he advised the FG to create employment for the Niger Delta youth as this is a lasting solution to the problem of militancy in the Niger Delta as there are still other splinter groups of militants in the creeks who are not ready to relinquish their weapons.

After the handover of the weapons by the Ianemi David-led militant group, the Public Relations Officer of the JTF, Lieutenant Colonel Onyeama swung into action by inspecting the items and after the inspection he listed them as the head commandant of the JTF Major General Batta Debiro applauded the decision of the militants to voluntarily surrender their arms.

The JTF are optimistic that this willing surrender by the militant group will mark the beginning of many more to come.

 

JTF Recovers Arms And Ammunitions In Yobe State, Kills One

The Joint Task Force (JTF) in Yobe state said one suspected member of the dreaded Boko Haram sect has been killed in a gun battle in the state.

In a statement made available to news men in Damaturu; the state capital, its Spokesman Lieutenant Eli Lazarus reveals that the killing followed an encounter between the JTF who were on patrol around the Gujba Area of the state and members of the Boko Haram.

Other members of the Islamic group according to the statement, escaped with various gunshot wounds during the encounter after abandoning their vehicle.

Items recovered from the suspects include five AK 47 rifles, two hundred and eleven rounds of ammunition and ten Magazines.

Other items include one Mitsubishi Canter truck, two motorcycles and Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs) materials, medical supplies as well as Police Uniforms.

The statement adds that JTF will continue to work assiduously towards the restoration of permanent peace in the state.

Gun runner arrested in Maiduguri

A suspected gun runner was arrested in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital and site of several deadly sect-related violent outbursts. The state’s Police Command said on Monday the ammunitions dealer had been picked up by authorities in Mangumeri local government area of the state.

Mr Samuel Tizhe, the Public Relations Officer of the command in Maiduguri said intelligence gathered during an investigation led to the arrest of the suspect, identified as Mallam Bello Abdullahi.

Tizhe said Mallam Abdullahi had been in possession of “two AK 47 rifles and eight magazines” at the time of his arrest.

“The suspect also had 117 ammunition in his possession,” Tizhe said, adding that investigations are still ongoing and authorities were closing in on some of his accomplices.

“We have begun manhunt for the other members of the gang and investigation is already on-going in the case,” Tizhe said.