The Police have said that many Nigerians who were in possession of illegal arms have surrendered voluntarily and advised those still holding such arms to follow suit.
Emmanuel Ojukwu, the force spokesman, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja that it is an offence to have such weapons in the hands of “non-state actors”.
“A lot of persons have surrendered their own arms voluntarily and those who still have them illegally, we are on their trail,” he said.
“It remains an offence to have such weapons in the hands of non-state actors. Anybody, who has such arms should please surrender them on his their own accord.
“Otherwise, if police get information, and we are asking members of the public to tell us those who are having such arms, if the person is arrested, the law will take its course.
“There is an offence called unlawful possession of firearms, that law is still potent,’’ Mr. Ojukwu said.
The Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, at a meeting with senior officers on November 13, promised to mop up illegal arms before the 2015 elections.
The force spokesman, however, declined to mention states with highest number of such weapons but maintained that people were willingly surrendering them as they did not actually need them.
Speaking on thuggery, Mr. Ojukwu warned that the force would bring the full weight of the law to bear on anyone involved.
“Anything that will affect security and safety of lives and property in Nigeria is of concern to the police.
“That is why the I-G in the past one month has issued three news releases warning members of the public not to get involved in thuggery.
“Warning and advising youths not to allow themselves to be used as agents of destruction.
“Nigeria Police have zero tolerance for thuggery because thugs are anti-democracy, they are anti-life, they are anti-Nigeria, they are not part of our character, and we are going to resist them and we are resisting them,’’ he said.