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IGP orders mop-up of illicit weapons

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By Abraham Adekunle

The police recover 182 arms and ammunition in crime-tackling efforts.

The Nigeria Police Force has recovered 182 illicit arms and 430 ammunition of various calibers across the country in its effort to tackle crimes. The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, revealed this in a statement on Tuesday, saying the arms will be handed over to the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW). According to him, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, has ordered all Commands and Formations to increase their efforts towards tackling the proliferation of illicit arms and ammunition in the country.

IGP Baba has also extended additional human and logistic support to Commands and Formations across the country for effective security management during the forthcoming gubernatorial and state houses of assembly elections scheduled for Saturday, March 18, 2023. He said that the additional support includes the deployment of personnel, operational vehicles, non-lethal weapons, personal protective equipment (body armor), anti-riot equipment, and others. The IGP also mandated all strategic police managers to deploy the additional distributed operational assets and manpower to ensure the emplacement of a proper security arrangement for the upcoming elections as all hands must be on deck to ensure that the elections are conducted in a peaceful and secure environment.

CSOs commend Armed Forces and Police for peaceful election conduct.

A coalition of 23 civil society organizations (CSOs) have commended the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the Nigeria Police Force for the peaceful conduct of the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections. Under the umbrella of Network for Promotion of Democracy in Nigeria, the CSOs praised the troops and officers for their neutrality, impartiality and professionalism throughout the exercise. Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on March 13, 2023, the convener, Abel Abu, said that the security agencies worked around the clock to tackle the various threats that could undermine the electoral process.

He described the Armed Forces, the Police and others, such as the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, as the bastion of Nigeria’s democracy. He stated that the just-concluded presidential and National Assembly election indeed goes down in history as one of the most keenly-contested elections in the democratic party’s history in Nigeria. “That the elections have come and gone is a testament to the fact that democracy has indeed come to stay in Nigeria. This is on the heels that there were several attempts by agents of destabilization to truncate the process, but for the intervention and professionalism of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he added.

Nigeria wins as non-state actors are denied chance to disrupt elections.

Abu said that it is indeed a victory for democracy that non-state actors, such as Boko Haram, Fulani bandits, Eastern Security Network (ESN) and other criminal elements, across the country were denied the opportunity to disrupt the electoral process. He said this evident in the fact that Nigerians could exercise their electoral franchise without fear or favor in defense of democracy. He claimed that the credibility of the electoral process is such that it has instilled confidence in Nigerians in their choices concerning the country’s leadership.

As the spokesperson for the press conference, he used the opportunity on behalf of the Network for the Promotion of Democracy in Nigeria to commend not only the leadership of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but also the leadership of other security agencies for standing tall in the provision of credible leadership during the election period. “Nigerians are indeed grateful that they were able to vote. Their votes counted, which has undoubtedly boosted the confidence of the electorates and the international community concerning the credibility of the elections,” he said.

The CSOs urge security forces not to relent after the elections.

The second and last batch of the general elections will be held on March 18, 2023. As much as the peaceful coordination of the elections is a priority to all security agencies in Nigeria, the CSOs urged the leadership of the Armed Forces and others not to rest on their oars when all elections are conducted and concluded. Abu stated that they must continue to serve as the bastion of Nigeria’s democracy by ensuring that all threats posed by non-state actors and other criminal elements across the country are neutralized with the overarching objective of peace and tranquility.

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