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Owners fail to surrender illegal arms in Delta as deadline expires

By Hendrix Oliomogbe, Asaba
06 April 2018   |   4:23 am
Owners of illegal weapons in Delta State have failed to surrender them, one week after the deadline expired.

Owners of illegal weapons in Delta State have failed to surrender them, one week after the deadline expired.

The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, had directed state police commands to recover all illicit arms in their states within 21 days.

The Delta Police Commissioner, Mustafa Muhammadu, had also on March1, 2018 ordered residents in possession of illegal firearms to comply with the order.

The police spokesman, Mr. Andrew Aniamaka, confirmed that no person or groups have so far heeded the order for a voluntary return of the illegal arms in their possession.

Aniamaka, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, disclosed this in Asaba.

He lamented that the state has large quantity of illegal guns, which the owners had failed to voluntarily surrender before the ultimatum ended.

He said: “Be rest assured that the IGP’s order would be obeyed to the fullest. The first approach is to sensitise members of the public, and we have employed the media and other means to do that. We need to meet with the stakeholders for which a committee has been set up.

“We have not received as much cooperation as we expected, because we thought that by now the people would have voluntarily turned in their arms. All hands must be on deck to ensure that the IGP’s order is strictly adhered to.”

He said the police would continue to sensitise the people to do so, before resorting to the use of force.

The Guardian learnt that vigilance groups and hunters ignored the order for fear of the Fulani herdsmen who have continued to terrorise the communities across the state.

The commissioner declared that the police have stepped up measures to recover all illegal arms that are in possession of herdsmen, vigilance group and other groups.

He disclosed that the police had set up a taskforce headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Operations, Peter Wagbara to handle the issue.

He enjoined owners of such illicit weapons to surrender them to the police through the area commanders.

He listed persons concerned to include members of the public, individuals or groups.

In this class are vigilance groups, neighbourhood watch, town unions, hunters, night watch men and herdsmen.