By Peter Duru
Makurdi—Operatives of the joint military intervention force, code-named Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS, have uncovered another firearms manufacturing plant in Benue State.
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The operatives also successfully arrested the arms manufacturer alongside nine others, including a wanted alleged kidnap kingpin and cattle rustlers operating between Benue and Nasarawa states axis.
Parading the suspects yesterday at the OPWS headquarters in Makurdi, the Force Commander, Major General Adeyemi Yekini, said six of the suspects were arrested in Nasarawa State, while four others were apprehended in Benue State.
He explained that the arms manufacturing plant and the fabricator, Shekwa Terna, were discovered in Buruku Local Government Area of Benue State, following a tip-off.
General Yekini noted that “our operation is currently centered on breaking the supply chain of weapon proliferation in the country, because the increasing spate of arms manufacturing is alarming and it is fuelling criminal activities in the country.
“We are targeting weapon manufacturers as a way of breaking the supply chain with a view to reducing the amount of weapons in circulation and curtailing the spate of armed banditry and other criminal activities in the country.”
He added that Seidu Muhammadu, a notorious kidnap kingpin and cattle rustler, along with some of his accomplices, were nabbed in Nasarawa State while Moses Dzever, a gang member of the wanted militia leader, Terwase Akwaza, alias Gana, with one other member responsible for Gana’s logistics, was also arrested in Benue.
The arms manufacturer, who confessed to the crime, said he took over the business from his elder brother after he was arrested by the military months backs.
His words: “I learned the work from my elder brother, who had earlier been apprehended. After his arrest, I took over the business.
“I was sleeping in my house when they came and arrested me. I sell the rifles to people in my community, while I sell the pistols to a client from Onitsha.
“Sometimes, when my client from Onitsha comes, he buys up to 15 weapons at once. So far, I have sold over 50 weapons since I started. But I now regret my action and wished I never went into this in the first place.”