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FG declares NATFORCE illegal, orders immediate disbandment

By Terhemba Daka, Abuja
16 September 2022   |   4:55 am
The National Security Council meeting, yesterday, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari declared operations of the National Task Force on Prohibition of Illegal, Importation/Smuggling of Arms, Ammunition..
Aregbesola

Nigeria Interior minister Rauf Aregbesola declared Monday, Tuesday public holidays. Photo; TWITTER/RAUFAAREFBESOLA/OGUNDIRANDOLAPO

The National Security Council meeting, yesterday, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari declared operations of the National Task Force on Prohibition of Illegal, Importation/Smuggling of Arms, Ammunition, Light Weapons, Chemical Weapons and Pipeline Vandalism (NATFORCE) illegal.

Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who briefed newsmen along with his Police Affairs counterpart, Mohammed Dingyadi, after the council meeting, advised NATFORCE leadership to disband immediately.

The Senate had, in July, passed into law the bill establishing the commission, while the House of Representatives is expected to pass its version upon resumption in September 2022.

Aregbesola said: “The task force is an illegal body. There was never a time the Nigerian government set it up with any legislative instrument or power. So, what I’ve come here to tell Nigerians through you is that the body should simply disband itself or risk being forcefully disbanded by all security agencies.

“It is unknown to Nigerian laws and, therefore, illegal. It does not have any power at all to operate, and it has been illegal all the while, but we are now reinforcing the fact that it’s an illegal organisation that doesn’t have to operate anywhere in Nigeria. It should just phase out itself or risk the possible disbandment by security agencies.”

Continuing, he said: “We are just saying with this announcement to disband themselves or risk being disbanded forcibly by the Nigerian law enforcement agencies.

“I’m reporting to you the decision of the Nigerian Security Council, if you understand what it means, this is the highest executive organ on security in Nigeria.”

Fielding questions on the outcome of the council meeting, Aregbesola said members commended security agencies for the relative peace in the country.”