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The Delta State Police Command has constituted a task force to commence the mopping up of various categories of weapons in the state with effect from 1st March, 2018.
The state Commissioner of Police, Muhammad Mustafa told Blank NEWS Online in Asaba on Thursday, March 1, 2018 that the move was in line with the directive of the Inspector-General of Police for total enforcement of the firearm Act banning the possession and use of illegal and prohibited firearms, ammunition, weapons and devices locally fabricated or modified that can cause death or injury to persons.
The already constituted task force, headed by the Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge Operations Department, ACP. Wagbara Peter has been directed to immediately commence the mopping up of the afore-listed categories of weapons across the state.
Those affected by the new directive include vigilantes, neighbourhood watch, town unions, hunters, watch night men among others.
“Consequently, the general public, individuals and groups such as vigilantes and neighbourhood watch, town unions, hunters and watch night men or any group or association under any capacity or guise other than statutory Security Agencies recognized and gazetted by the Federal Government of Nigeria to bear firearms of specified category.
” Those who are currently possessing and using prohibited/illegal firearms such as pump action gun of all categories and the likes for whatsoever purpose in the state are hereby given twenty-one (21) days with effect from today, 1st March, 2018, to surrender them to the Commissioner of Police through the Area Commanders of their places of domicile.”
CP Muhammad Mustafa further said that “No license will be given or recognized in respect of prohibited firearms and ammunition except if granted by the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria upon the recommendation of the Inspector-General of Police.”
He implored concerned citizens, general public and Local Government Authorities to prevail on their vigilantes, neighbourhood watch, civil security outfits and watch night men and others attached to any organization including public and private institutions in the state to surrender all the prohibited firearms in their possession within the time limit of 21 days.
The Delta Police boss warned that “Anyone found with prohibited firearms after the expiration of the 21 days will be arrested, investigated and prosecuted, as the police will not hesitate to apply the full weight of the law on any individual or group whose conduct, under any guise, run contrary to the law of the land.”
He therefore called on members of the public to report anyone bearing, possessing or in custody of the prohibited firearms anywhere in the state to Commissioner of Police, Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers nearest to them in a bid to reduce crime to the barest minimum level.