By Kingsley Omonobi & Joseph Erunke
Abuja—Ahead of the general elections in 2019, the Federal Government has commenced moves among security agencies to begin mop up of illegal arms and ammunition in the society to prevent them falling into the hands of social miscreants and thugs.
According to government, failure to mop up the arms will constitute a threat to the elections.
To this end, Interior Minister, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd), yesterday, addressed Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris; Deputy Inspectors General, Assistant Inspectors General and Command Commissioners of Police and charged the police to enforce the law against illegal possession of firearms.
He said: “This meeting is very important because we have very serious security challenges all over the country. The challenges are not new but they are of very serious concern to government.
“Today, at home, we are overwhelmed by the issue of insecurity, even though this gathering is aimed to checkmate proliferation of firearms. We know that firearms are drivers to violence. We also know that illicit drugs are involved. So the need to address them is apt.
Herders/farmers clashes caused by challenge of resource sharing
On the perennial herders/farmers clashes in parts of the country, which have claimed many lives, Dambazau said the problem was caused by the challenge of resource sharing.
He said: “By resource sharing, I mean the issues of land and water. These herders/farmers clashes are not religious problems, they are not caused by ethnic problems and it is not a local problem. It is a struggle for land and water.
Earlier, IGP Idris had noted that the Police High Command would insist at the meeting that Command CPs put in place structures to check illegal possession and acquisition of arms and ammunition.
He said: “We are putting in place a comprehensive and intensive programme to ensure the curbing of these arms and ammunition. From our experience in Benue and other states, which I believe is not in the interest of the nation, it is not in anybody’s interest to arm militia groups.”