The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has ordered Commissioners of Police in all the states and FCT Abuja to identify, isolate, disarm, arrest and prosecute individuals or groups in possession of prohibited firearms.
In a statement, the police chief said the directive was given to reduce weapons in the hands of people before the Edo and Ondo elections.
The Edo election will take place on 19 September, while the Ondo election will take on 10 October.
The statement signed by Deputy Police commissioner Frank Mba said the order became necessary against the backdrop of the deliberate arming and movement of political thugs and other criminal elements across the country.
“In addition, the directive is targeted at addressing the proliferation and unlawful possession of prohibited firearms in the country which is contrary to the provisions of Chapter F.28 LFN 2004 of the Firearms Act, Mba said..
In a similar vein, Commissioners of Police in all the States of the Federation and the FCT have been directed to immediately convene an enlightenment meeting of all vigilante groups and quasi security outfits spread across the country in order to ensure that their activities are in conformity with the extant laws guiding their establishment and operations.
“The IGP, while observing that several civil groups – vigilantes, quasi states and regional security outfits under various guises are arming themselves with prohibited firearms and weapons in contravention of the provisions of the Firearms Act, notes that the trend if unchecked, will pose serious threat to national security.
“The IGP enjoins citizens to cooperate with the Police in the enforcement of this order as it is aimed at ensuring safety of lives and property in the country”, Mba said..