The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris has ordered Commissioners of Police (CPs) across the country to curb the proliferation of illegal firearms and ammunition in the country.
He also ordered them to ensure that State governments do not establish militias and arm them with illegal weapons.
He made this known on Wednesday, during the monthly conference with ‘CPs and above’ at the Nigeria Police Headquarters in Abuja.
He said, “I decided to call this meeting so that we have a comprehensive program for the 36 states Command and the FCT Command to look into the issue of curbing illegal arms and ammunition in this country.”
“Because I believe this is very necessary, especially as we are going towards a political period and from the experiences we had in Benue state and some part of this country.
“With the establishment of illegal militias and arming of these militias, which I believe is not in the interest of security in this country,” he added.
He ordered the CPs to conduct campaigns in their various commands to establish structures to tackle the menace of illegal arms and ammunitions in the country.
The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau who also attended the meeting commended the Nigeria Police for their excellent performance in United Nations Missions.
However, he said, “We all know that the Nigeria police is one of the best, as recorded in United Nations missions, but today at home we are over whelmed by issue of insecurity.”
He said the problem of herders/farmers clash is a regional problem that needs multi-dimensional approach.
He said the federal government is working with the ECOWAS Commission to organize a regional conference.
He said the conference would include the ministers of interior security and agriculture from all ECOWAS countries and Central Africa.
He insisted that the problem is not a local problem but has to do with resource sharing; land and water.
He said we must find a way to deal with it, noting that it is not a religious or ethnic problem.
He decried the huge numbers of illegal weapons in circulation, which gives confidence to criminals, urging that the police must enforce the law against use of illegal fire arms.
He said, “We must encourage people to surrender illegally acquired fire arms, anyone found in position of illegally acquired firearms in a criminal.”