Determined to check the high rate of crime in the oil city, the Police in Rivers state have asked vigilance groups and individuals in possession of illegal firearms to surrender them or risk being arrested and prosecuted.
They were given seven days ultimatum to so.
Spokesman of the Rivers State Police Command SP Nnamdi Omoni, made the call while appearing as aguest in a live radio programme in Port Harcourt.
He explained that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Joseph Mukan, in his magnanimity had extended the window period of surrendering weapons to allow all in possession of firearms unlawfully to take advantage of the opportunity.
He added that only one vigilance group had so far surrendered their arms to the police, stressing that the essence of the exercise was for all who bear or desire to bear firearms do so legally.
“Only the Choba OSPAC vigilance group has submitted their firearms, the window is still open for other groups to turn in their arms before we go after them. The idea is nobody should bear arms without the proper procedure, if you have arms with you without following the proper procedure then you have fallen foul of the law and you will be dealt with accordingly.
“The Commissioner of Police in his magnanimity has decided to give them one week within which to turn in these arms, otherwise the IGP’s directive is clear that the order be enforced with immediate effect.”
He said that indiscriminate unlawful bearing of arms portends grave danger to the society, adding that no one is above the law irrespective of class, hence, non was exempted from the exercise.
“This turning in of prohibited arms to the police is not targeted at anybody, it is a directive of the Inspector General of Police across the country including Abuja.
“Bigmen are not exempted, nobody is above the law, what we are doing is, if you must carry firearms, you must acquire them lawfully, if you are mentally incapacitated, you cannot bear firearms. When we see these arms indiscriminately in the hands of persons, it portends a lot of danger for the society.”
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