Personnel of the various units of the Nigeria Police Force, acting on intelligence pointing to organized crime groups and individuals involved in firearms trafficking, carried out operations across the country and mopped up over 3,980 arms, 2,358 ammunition, and 1,057 cartridges.
The increased rate of terrorism, banditry-related activities, secessionist movements, kidnapping, and armed robbery cannot be disassociated from the illicit importation of arms and light weapons. 265 automatic rifles, 146 pump action guns, 1,909 locally fabricated pistols, 1,500 locally made single barrel guns, 98 locally made double barrel guns, 46 General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs), 16 locally made rocket launchers, two locally made Anti-Aircraft (AA) guns, seven Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs), 2,358 assorted calibres of ammunition and 1,057 assorted cartridges were seized.
Police authorities handed over the weapons to the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) at the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters, Louis Edet House, Abuja, on Thursday.
“The Nigeria Police Force under my leadership has been re-evaluating our operational strategy while strengthening institutional capacity in relation to the generation of actionable intelligence and the conduct of special operations directed at proactively checkmating the menace of arms proliferation,” the Inspector General of Police, represented by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Finance and Administration, DIG Dan-Mallam Mohammed, said.
National Coordinator, NCCSALW, Major General Abba Mohammed Dikko (rtd) said: “What we have received will form part of a decision-making process that will first segregate those (weapons) that are serviceable and unserviceable, illegally shipped into Nigeria through various means, or traded through third and fourth parties. Once we have done that appropriate litigation will be carried on those that have been found to be associated with the importation and circulation of illicit weapons.”
He added that the agency also has the mandate to issue serviceable weapons back to security agencies for the protection of the lives and property of Nigerians.