Task force recovers 39,880 weapons from ex-militants

Amnesty arms Niger Delta

The weapons will be destroyed by the Nigerian Army.

The inter-agency task force on the amnesty programme has handed over 39,880 weapons recovered from ex-militants from Bayelsa and Delta States to the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army.

Handing over the weapons in Enugu on Saturday, the Coordinator of the Task Force, Air Vice Marshal James Gbum, said they were from the militants who were excluded from the last two phases of the amnesty programme.

According to him, there were serious agitations by some ex-militants who claimed that they also surrendered their arms and ammunition to the joint task force and other security agencies but were excluded from the programme.

“It was in response to these claims that President Goodluck Jonathan approved additional 3 ,642 slots for ex-militants who genuinely surrendered arms to security agencies,” he said.

Mr. Gbum said the task force, among other things, was mandated to recover all retrieved arms and ammunition to the 82 Division, Enugu, for subsequent destruction in line with the UN Disarmament, Demobilisation and Re-integration rules.

The coordinator gave a breakdown of the weapons to include 482 automatic arms, 20,132 ammunition, 295 magazines and 18,971 locally made arms.

Receiving the weapons, the General Officer Commanding the 82 Division, Maj.-Gen. Adebayo Olaniyi, commended President Jonathan for taking another giant stride in the amnesty programme.

Mr. Olaniyi said that if the weapons were not retrieved, they would have posed a serious threat to security in the country.

He assured Nigerians that the weapons would be transparently destroyed at the appropriate time.

In a message to the event, Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State, who was represented by the Commissioner for Environment, John Egbo, urged the president not to relent in his effort to rid the nation of illegal weapons.

Mr. Chime also commended the task force for the bold step it took in recovering the weapons, adding that such action would go a long way in reducing crime in the country.

The highlights of the event were the inspection of the weapons by the governor’s representative and the handover of the documents and weapons by the coordinator to the GOC.

(NAN)


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