- Nigeria's most senior military officer says the security agencies are keen on ensuring arms are not found in the hands of non-state actors
- General Lucky Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff made the declaration at Government House, Asaba
- The Defence chief met with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa which focused on strategies to curb the illegal proliferation of arms
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has said that the proliferation of illegal arms in the country was a threat to Nigeria's corporate existence.
Irabor disclosed this on Thursday, April 15 while addressing journalists after a courtesy visit to Delta state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa at Government House, Asaba.
He said the presidential directive to shoot-at-sight anyone with an AK-47 rifle was very clear and must be enforced, adding that Nigeria as a country forbade illegal bearing of arms.
According to him, anyone found with such weapons was an enemy of the state and would be treated as such.
A statement sent to Legit.ng by the Delta state government quoted him as saying:
“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.”
He said that he was in Delta for the first time since he was appointed CDS and commended Governor Okowa for his support to the armed forces and other security agencies in the state.
Earlier, Governor Okowa congratulated the CDS on his appointment and promotion and urged him to do more to secure the nation.
“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.
“I also believe that there is no problem that is insurmountable and with the cooperation of all security agencies we can combat the insecurity in our land.”
Governor Okowa had earlier congratulated General Irabor on his appointment as the CDS by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, January 26.
The governor noted that the sacrifices of General Irabor towards peace and progress of the nation, especially his acknowledged gallantry at assignments, were outstanding.
Recall that President Buhari had promised to reorganise Nigeria's security architecture in 2021 during his new year message to the nation.
The president said the security agencies will be trained adequately on how to engage, push back and dismantle the operations of both internal and external extremist and criminal groups.