The National Taskforce for Combating Illegal Importation of Weapons has solicited government’s support in efforts to stamp out the importation and sale of illegal weapons in the country.
Its Acting Director-General, Musa Mohammed, who made the appeal at a news conference in Abuja on Monday, said that the taskforce was aware of several hideouts of criminals in the country.
He underscored the readiness of the taskforce to work with other law enforcement agencies to intercept the criminals.
Mohammed said that the outfit needed government’s intervention in the area of mobility so as to empower it to reach all nooks and crannies of the country to assess the security situation.
“There are lots of criminal hideouts, even here in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“With mobility, we will be able to reach all these sensitive areas, where illegal arms and ammunition are being imported and kept, and intercept the perpetrators.
“My first mandate is to solve all our problems with other security agencies and then call on the President (Muhammadu Buhari) to assist us.
“Presently, we still feed the other law enforcement agencies with intelligence on how to catch these criminals but they always hijack the credit.
“This time around, we have developed a robust structure.
“If the other security agencies cooperate with us, we are ready to show them all these criminal hideouts and to take the necessary action against them,” he said.
Mohammed noted that the taskforce previously had good relationship with other security agencies but the rapport was strained presently.
“Nevertheless, we are working on the way forward to settle all the contentious issues between all the agencies. Under my watch, we will come to a resolution.
“So, if the government fully backs us and our bill, which is currently in the National Assembly, we will do better than any law enforcement agency in Nigeria,” he added.
The acting director-general noted that the Bill to Establish National Taskforce on Illegal Importation of Arms, Ammunition, Light Weapons and Chemical Weapons was currently going through its second reading in the National Assembly.
Mohammed expressed optimism that President Buhari would sign the bill into law, as soon as it was passed, because of his interest in the security of the country.
“If our bill goes through, we will not be redundant to the government.
“We have so many ways of generating income, both for ourselves and for the government as well,’’ he said.