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Concentrate on herders, Boko Haram, South East group tells IGP

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Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris

A non-profitable organisation, Igbo Ekunie Initiative (IEI), has enjoined the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, and the entire force to go after terrorist groups like herdsmen and Boko Haram instead of feasting on vigilantes.

According to the group, the IGP had failed to acknowledge that vigilance groups had recognition in Anambra, Enugu, Imo and Abia states owing to the security they provide to the people. 

The president, Maazi Tochukwu Ezeoke, in a statement, condemned the IGP’s directive to the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Garba Umar, ordering individuals and groups to disarm within 21 days.

He said: “The unwise and unilateral directive of the IGP under reference clearly shows that the force is totally aloof in matters of influx, proliferation, possession and uses of firearms particularly those classified by the Firearms Act of 2004 of the Federation of Nigeria as ‘prohibited firearms.’

“That is to say that the force does not have any credible database or interrogated statistics or records on the number of illicit small arms and light weapons being brought into Nigeria by legitimate state and illegitimate non-state actors as well as types of such Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs); destinations through which they are brought into the country; those responsible for their legitimate and illegitimate procurement; quantities of same bought or procured on a daily, monthly and yearly basis in Nigeria; those possessing them and their percentage per population as well as the purposes for which they are used.”

The group maintained that the IGP’s directive as it relates to the South East was worrisome and unnecessary, as the states in the region were peaceful.

According to them, the “states have taken the issue of security as cardinal policy of government that relies heavily on established vigilance outfits, which will now be affected by this very bizarre directive.”

They submitted that the vigilantes, “bearing unprohibited firearms or gaming (hunters) guns such as pump action, double and single barrel and Dane guns, are not responsible for the state-aided mass slaughters ravaging Nigeria.

“Those under the above category are dutifully and constitutionally supplementing the community policing duties of the Nigeria Police Force.

“The gaming guns borne by the vigilantes are inferior to the modern art of violent crimes and internal armed conflicts.”

 
 


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