The Acting Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, has established an ad hoc committee tasked with the comprehensive review of firearms licensing and regulations by the Nigeria Police Force in line with the Firearms Act and other extant laws.
Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi made this known in an official correspondence on Monday, noting that it is in the interest of public safety and general security.
Egbetokun said the committee’s mandate will encompass a thorough assessment of current firearms licensing procedures and regulations, with the aim of enhancing their effectiveness, transparency and accountability.
The statement reads; “Similarly, in furtherance of his zeal to tackle all forms of insecurity in the country, the IG has issued a stern warning to all individuals involved in the wrongful possession of arms and light weapons, reiterated that illegal proliferation of firearms and light weapons poses a significant threat to the peace and stability of our nation.
“In light of this, the Nigeria Police Force is resolutely determined to combat the illegal fabrication, sales, possession and use of arms emphasising that possessing firearms without the appropriate licenses and permits is not only a violation of the law but also a grave danger to society. He assured that the Nigeria Police Force will spare no effort in pursuing and prosecuting those engaged in these illegal activities to the full extent of the law.
“The Inspector General of Police has charged all State Commissioners of Police and supervising Assistant Inspectors-General of Police in charge of Zonal Commands, and tactical squads to commence a total clampdown on the illegal fabrication, sale, possession, and use of prohibited firearms in the country. He equally urged all Nigerians to report suspicious activities related to firearms to their local police divisions or via the various NPF social media platforms for prompt response.”
The IGP who earlier stated that gun licencing may aggravate insecurity in the country, reiterated the police’ ban on gun license issuance. He, however, added that the police might review or revert the ban in the future.
“We are mopping up arms in circulation. There are too many arms in circulation and if we continue to issue licenses on arms, we may continue to aggravate the problems we are trying to solve.
“For now, there is a temporary ban on the issuance of firearms. We May review it later, but we are not issuing firearms licenses nationwide now.”