By Chidi Ekpewerechi
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Solomon Arase, has directed all commissioners of police in state commands and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to activate mechanism for the mop-up of prohibited firearms within their areas of responsibility.
In a statement issued in Abuja and signed by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO) ACP Olabisi Kolawole, the Force described as unfortunate the level and negative effects of proliferation of arms in the country.
The release further said that, for the avoidance of doubts, prohibited firearms under the Firearms Act include, artillery, apparatus for the discharge of any explosives or gas-diffusing projectile, revolvers and pistols, machine guns and machine pistols, rocket weapons and military rifles, including those with calibre 7.62mm, 9mm, .300 inches and .303inches.
It further directs that the Inspector General of Police urges persons in possession of non-prohibited firearms to immediately obtain or renew their licenses before July, 2016 by following the process on the requisite web link of the Nigeria Police Central Information Centre (NCIS) on www.npf.gov.ng
The Force also emphasised that the intelligence and operational assets of the Force will soon be deployed to fish out, arrest and bring to justice any person who fails to voluntarily surrender prohibited firearms in his/her possession or who fails to obtain/renew requisite licenses for non-prohibited firearms. Such modalities shall include a reward system for informants whose information shall lead to the location and recovery of such weapons and arrest of the person in whose custody such illegal firearms are recovered.
The statement called on all citizens to sustain their cooperation with the Nigeria Police in the task of keeping the country safe, while assuring that the Force will continue to diligently work towards eliminating any threat to internal security and assures Nigerians of its commitment to their safety and security.