From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d Gusau
The Zamfara state Police Command has issued a 3 weeks ultimatum within which unlicensed firearms in possession of groups, individuals comprising hunters, herders, vigilante and voluntary groups (‘Yan Sakai) should be surrendered or face the wrath of the law.
This was announced by the state Commissioner of Police, CP Kenneth Ebrimson at a press conference yesterday in his office at the Command Gusau, the state capital, saying, it was a directive by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris aimed at ensuring calm environment for 2019 general elections.
Other paramount reasons for firearms surrender, according to the Commissioner include; efforts to make the entire country crime-free, emphasizing that, “It is only statutory security agencies recognized and gazetted by the federal government of Nigeria are allowed to bear firearms and ammunition”.
CP Ebrimson further informed that, the directive was to embark on immediate mopping up, seizure and recovery of all illegal firearms and ammunition from the wrong hands, suspected militias, militants and other unlawful gangs.
He said that, all men under the Command are directed to cordon, search and raid suspected hideouts .He listed the targeted prohibited firearms to comprise artillery, apparatus for the discharge of any explosives of gas diffusing projectile, rockets bombs and grenades. Others include, machine guns and machine pistols.
The Commissioner further mentioned military rifles with calibers 7.62mm, 9mm and 300 inches, revolvers and pistols, pump action gun of any brand and any other firearms or lethal weapons fabricated to kill.
“All affected groups and individuals are having only 21 days to surrender their illegal firearms but, with the expiration of the stated time, Police would continue with its aggrieved operations in mopping and raiding any questionable structure, identified hideouts and suspected camps of criminals until all prohibited firearms are seized,” he said.