The massive proliferation of illegal arms into Nigeria has the potential to compromise the country’s security and continued existence as a nation.
The alarm was raised by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor on Friday, in Asaba, the Delta State capital while addressing journalists after a courtesy visit to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
He said the presidential directive to shoot-at-sight anyone illegally bearing AK-47 rifle was very clear and must be enforced, adding that Nigeria as a country forbade illegal bearing of arms.
Gen. Irabor warned that anyone found with such weapons was an enemy of the state and would be treated as such.
He said- “The mandate of the President for dealing with everyone holding AK-47 illegally is a mandate that must be enforced because we are a state that does not condone illegal bearing of arms. “The armed forces and other security agencies are the only institutions that are mandated to carry arms in the course of their duties.
So, anyone who is carrying an AK-47 or any other weapon, for that matter, is considered a threat to the existence of the state.
“And, because he is an enemy of the state, it must be addressed; so it’s not a question of my view but rather a question of having to carry out the mandate of Mr. President. The Armed Forces in partnership with other security agencies will do all that is necessary to bring peace and security across the land and Nigeria certainly, will know peace again.”
He said that he was in Delta for the first time since his appointment as CDS and commended Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his support to the armed forces and other security agencies in the state.
He said: “Delta is my home and it feels good to be home, and I said that I cannot come home without paying a courtesy call on the Governor of the state who has done well, giving very credible support to the members of the armed forces and security agencies.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in his remarks, congratulated the CDS on his appointment and promotion, charging him to do more to secure the nation.
“I want to use this opportunity to congratulate you again on your appointment and subsequent promotion to the rank of General. We have had a very challenging time because of the COVID-19, but when the appointments were made, we were very happy because we believe that it will improve the security situation, with the injection of new strategies,” Okowa stated.