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Published On: Mon, Mar 18th, 2019

Elections: NATFORCE urges FG to mop up arms, ammunitions used by thugs

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By Paul Efiong, Abuja

The Director General, National Taskforce on the Prohibition of Illegal Importation of Small Arms, Ammunitions and Light Weapons, NATFORCE, Chief Osita Okereke, has raised the alarm over the huge number of illegal arms and ammunitions as well as fake army and Police uniforms displayed by thugs in the just concluded 2019 general elections.
Okereke warned that unless concerted efforts are made by the government to retrieve the weapons, it is capable of endangering the nation’s security of lives and property.
Speaking during a World Press briefing at the weekend in Abuja, Chief Okereke alleged that kidnapping started in 1999 when politicians bought arms and ammunitions for thugs but later failed to retrieve the weapons from them and advocated for a special court to try those in possession of illegal weapons.
“We have already identified the hideout of these criminals and where these dangerous weapons are hidden and we implore the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector General of Police to collaborate with NATFORCE by providing us with their men to fish out these illegal arms and ammunition before it is too late.
“Again as INEC prepares to conduct in some states, we want to plead with the Commission to carry us along in the conduct of the elections for the purpose of ensuring that that the ugly incident that marred the initial efforts in parts of the country is not repeated again.
He appealed to the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Bill for an Act to establish the National Commission for the Prohibition of o Illegal Importation of Small Arms and Light Weapons and other related matters.
According to NATFORCE boss, different countries that made up ECOWAS Countries have already passed the Bill into law leaving only Nigeria and Gambia, maintaining that proliferation of arms portends bad omens for Nigeria and her future.
Reacting to how the menace of illegal arms and ammunition could be moped of in the Country challenged lawmakers in the current two chambers of the National Assembly to expedite action through which his Bill now before them could be passed and subsequently be ascended to by the presidency, then illegal importation of fire arms would be history.

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