2019: FCT Police moves to reduce firearms

Adoba Echono, Abuja

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The Police Command of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, in Nigeria has pledged its commitment to rid the Territory of illegal firearms ahead of 2019 General elections

The FCT Commissioner of Police, Sadiq Bello, made the commitment in a news conference in Abuja, on the Operation Finger off the Trigger National Disarmament and Peace Campaign.

The Commissioner, who was represented by the FCT Command Police Public Relations Officer, Anjuguri Manzah, called on those in possession of illegal firearms in the FCT to voluntarily submit them before the expiration of the deadline given by the Inspector General of Police

“The command is still calling on all those who possess fire arms illegally to surrender it before the expiration of the time given.We want the residents to know that the submission of the illegal firearms is still open.

“So anyone who is in possession of it can go to any nearest police station or come to the FCT Command to surrender the arms because the IG has given an extension grace for the submission.

“Because after the expiration of the grace, anyone found in possession of illegal fire arms would be prosecuted in accordance with the law,” he said.

He said that the FCT Command in pursuit of the Inspector General’s directive on the mop up of illegal firearms had recovered a number arms and ammunition in March

“In March we recovered 778 illegal arms, 222 live cartridges that were voluntarily surrendered in the FCT as part of the efforts to ensure that we don’t have firearms in the command.”

Mr. Bello lauded the coordinator of the initiative stressing that the campaign could not have come at a better time than now when the nation was preparing for 2019 elections

The Coordinator General Salute Nigeria Initiative, Ambassador Chielo Ojirika, said that Finger Off the Trigger, Violence is stoppable, peace is possible, is aimed at sensitizing Nigerians on the disadvantages of violence and hate speech in any society.

Ambassador Ojirika said that the campaign was targeted at local communities, schools, churches, mosque, market places, and motor parks, among others.

He said that the present ethnic-religious violence and insecurity in the country had prompted more than ever the need for proactive programmes aimed at sensitizing Nigerians on the need for peaceful coexistence and tolerance

“Thus we need virtuous programme that provides sustainable unity in Nigeria as a whole. Nigeria remains the biggest market in Africa .”

“Boko haram has been pushed back, but other tensions are also growing. It is therefore important to propagate social cultural cooperation among Nigerians.”

Ambassador Ojirika noted that the yearning of many Nigerians is for the entrenchment of peace, unity and stability in the country, which is the aim of ‘Finger off the Trigger.’

The conference was organised by “General Salute Nigeria Initiative, and Finger off the Trigger” an NGO that educates youths on peaceful coexistence.