By Olayemi Esan
The Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Lucky Irabor, Friday, decried the proliferation of illegal arms in the country, observing that it was a threat to Nigeria’s corporate existence.
Irabor who made this statement in Asaba, after a courtesy visit to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, said the Presidential directive to shoot-at-sight anyone illegally bearing AK-47 rifle was very clear and must be enforced.
Nigeria as a country, he said, forbade illegal bearing of arms, and as such, anyone found with such weapons was an enemy of the state and would be treated as such.
“The mandate of the President for dealing with everyone holding AK-47 illegally is a mandate that must be enforced because we are a state that does not condone illegal bearing of arms.
“The armed forces and other security agencies are the only institutions that are mandated to carry arms in the course of their duties. So, anyone who is carrying an AK-47 or any other weapon, for that matter, is considered a threat to the existence of the state.
And, because he is an enemy of the state, it must be addressed; so it’s not a question of my view but rather a question of having to carry out the mandate of Mr President.
The Armed Forces in partnership with other security agencies will do all that is necessary to bring peace and security across the land and Nigeria. I am aware of the threat dispositions within Delta even though it is stable now, but we know that there are areas of interest that we will need to do a lot to add value in up-scaling the security disposition of the state and this is part of what myself and my colleagues were doing. I believe that the state will in no time begin to experience greater level of peace and security.”
In his remarks, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa charged the CDS to do more to secure the nationand stated further that “ there is no problem that is insurmountable with the cooperation of all security agencies.
Here in Delta, we have our own security outfit – Operation Delta Hawk – and we are able to work together in terms of our information gathering.
We will need more support, especially in the Warri area where we have oil installations because when the place is more peaceful and secure, more industries will come”.