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.

IGP Sets Up Task Force To Enforce Ban On Illegal Firearms Possession

File photo

 

The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris on Thursday set up a task force to enforce the ban placed on illegal and prohibited firearms, ammunition, weapons and devices across the country.

The operation is aimed at the full enforcement of the Firearms Act and to recover all prohibited firearms and illegally acquired weapons.

This, according to a statement signed by Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, will enable the Nigeria Police Force deal decisively with herders and farmers clashes, kidnappings, armed robbery, cattle rustling, militancy and terrorism.

READ ALSO: IGP Vows To Prosecute Perpetrators Of Zamfara Killings

“A police joint task enforcement team has been set up at the Force Headquarters by the Inspector General of Police, while the Commissioners of Police and the Assistant Inspectors General of Police in the States and Zonal Commands respectively have been mandated to immediately set-up similar Police Joint Task Enforcement Teams in their States and Zones,” the statement read in part.

The task force according to the statement will the mop-up, seize and recover all illegal and prohibited firearms and ammunition from ‘wrong hands.’

“The operation will equally include cordon and 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 or being used,” the force spokesperson said.

The IGP according to the statement also mandated Commissioners of Police and their supervising Assistant Inspectors General of Police of the 12 Zonal Commands in the country; to immediately commence the mop up operation.

The categories of the prohibited/illegal firearms and ammunition, specified under Chapter F.28 LFN 2004 Fire Arms Act include “artillery, apparatus for the discharge of any explosives of gas diffusing projectile, rocket weapons, bombs and grenades, machine-guns and machine-pistols, military rifles, namely; those of calibers 7.62mm, 9mm, .300 inches, Revolvers and Pistols whether rifled or unrifled (including flint-lock pistols and cap pistols), firearms such as pump action gun of all categories and Any other firearms/lethal weapons fabricated to kill.”

The police force also said individuals and groups such as vigilantes and neighbourhood watch group under state governments, local governments or town unions, hunters and watch night men who are currently possessing the illegal firearms are given 21-day ultimatum from February 22, 2018, to surrender them to the Commissioner of Police in their state.

Benue-Nasarawa Killings: Buhari Orders Arrest Of Persons With Illegal Firearms

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the arrest of persons in possession of illegal firearms vowing to put an end to the incessant killings by maintaining law and order in the country.

The President who was in Nasarawa State on Tuesday to inaugurate some projects asked security agents newly deployed to the troubled areas to go after the perpetrators of the act in order to bring justice to the victims of the attacks.

“I also want to assure the people of the North Central and indeed all Nigerians that the Federal Government is working day and night to ensure peace and stability. We have deployed additional resources to all affected areas to maintain law and order.

“The attacks by suspected herdsmen and other bandits will not be tolerated. I appeal to all Nigerians to restrain from reprisal attacks. The security agencies I have sent them instruction to arrest and prosecute any and all person found with illegal arms,” he said.

READ ALSO: Buhari Visits Nasarawa, Commissions School, Others

President Buhari while condemning the killings by suspected herdsmen in various region of the country expressed condolence to victims of the attacks.

“I will like once again to express my condolence and sympathy to all affected victims of this barbaric act,” he said.

He said further that the unwarranted killings of innocent citizens will not be tolerated as he promises to improve the security atmosphere across the country.

President Buhari with Governor Tanko Al-Makura during the President’s visit to Nasarawa State on Tuesday.

The President’s aircraft touched down the Nasarawa State government house at exactly 10:12 am on Tuesday, January 6, for a one-day visit to inaugurate some projects executed by the Nasarawa state government.

He was received by governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa and Simon Lalong of Plateau states alongside other federal and state government officials.

Nasarawa Police Give Owners Of Illegal Firearms 30-Day Ultimatum

arms, cultists, suspected criminals, Illegal Weapons, AmnestyThe Nasarawa State Police Commissioner, Abubakar Bello Sadiq has given persons in possession of illegal firearms 30 days to surrender the weapons or be ready to face prosecution.

He gave the ultimatum while speaking to journalists during the parade of 25 suspects in Lafia, the state capital.

Their offences varied from robbery, homicide, rape, kidnapping to possession of firearms.

The police boss assured residents of adjustments in crime fighting strategies to minimise the trend while also calling for their support in exposing persons in possession of firearms, manufacturers and traders.

17 Suspects Arrested For Possession Of Illegal Firearms In Kaduna

Police To Ensure Peace Ahead Of Abia ElectionThe Kaduna state police, have arrested 17 suspects for an alleged possession of illegal firearms in the state.

The force says it is making progress in the fight against criminality across the state.

Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of operations, Josak Habila, on visiting the state, told journalists that there has been a major breakthrough in crime fighting.

He said this while parading the suspects arrested in Kanikon community and other villages within the Kafachan district of Kaduna state.

The DIG disclosed that the operation was carried out by special forces under the ‘operation harmony’ campaign.