Bashir Magashi, the Minister of Defense, has warned that individuals who get illegal weapons and use them against state actors will be prosecuted.
Mr Magashi made the remarks in the State House on Wednesday, just after the Chief of Army Staff, Faruk Yahaya, was promoted to lieutenant general.
He said that the Nigerian Army has been granted authority to pursue anyone in possession of weapons.
The minister’s warning comes at a time when the country is experiencing increased insecurity, which is largely due to the spread of light weaponry and small weapons.
Thousands of Nigerians have been killed or kidnapped as a result of this tendency, which has resulted in numerous forms of insecurity.
Disgruntled politicians have frequently been blamed for the spread of illegal firearms across the country.
Abdusalami Abubakar, a former Head of State, reportedly stated that the country had over six million firearms in circulation.
‘Put an end to insecurity.
Mr Magashi told media after the event that Mr Yahaya had been given the instruction to put an end to the insecurity.
He claimed that the new army chief had done an excellent job since taking office.
“Well, I believe, like any other chief, his mandate is to put an end to banditry, kidnapping, and the Boko Haram issue, and there has been a significant improvement in the manner we have been waging this war since his accession.
“The preparation is detailed, and the activities are following operational plans, and I am confident that with that kind of organisation, we will be able to overcome the insurgency problem,” the minister stated.
Mr Magashi stated that people responsible for insecurity in various parts of the country would be prosecuted and that the law would be used against them, adding that those who choose to use weapons against security officials would also be punished.
“If you commit an offence, you will be arrested, tried, and punished if you are found guilty,” he stated. But anyone who picks up arms against a soldier, you know what that implies, and we’ll handle him the same way.
The defence minister elaborated on the president’s remark that criminals would be punished “in the language they understand,” saying that anyone carrying a weapon “would be taken rid of.”
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with killing an adversary if he also wants to kill you, and that’s exactly what the president is saying; you can’t own a weapon illegally and expect to live because that weapon can be used against you.
“Anyone with weapons will be met with our wrath. Nigeria will not allow this to happen again. The minister cautioned, “That is our message.”
Mr Yahaya also spoke, saying that the army, under his command, will do all possible to guarantee that existing security difficulties in some parts of the country were completely resolved.
He also swore unwavering allegiance to the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, as well as the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I want to express my gratitude to the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces for placing their trust in me and awarding me the rank of Lieutenant General and Chief of the Army Staff.
“On behalf of the officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army, I offer my undivided devotion. We’d also keep doing everything we can to put an end to the existing insecurity, which includes insurgency and other violent crimes.
“We are already having success, and we will build on that, as well as our experience in this work, and by God’s help, we will get there,” Mr Yahaya added.
# News # Nigerian Army will go after anyone carrying illegal arms in Nigeria
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