By G9ija

The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has handed over 3,980 arms, 2,358 ammunition and 1,057 cartridges recovered from criminals to the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons.

The IGP said the small arms and light weapons were recovered by the Police in various operations across the country.

The IGP was represented by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Finance and Administration, Mohammed Dan-Malam, at the handing over on Thursday in Abuja.

He said the arms and ammunitions included 265 automatic rifles, 146 pump action guns, 1,909 locally fabricated pistols, 1,500 locally made single barrel guns and 98 locally made double barrel guns.

Others were 46 general purpose machine guns, 16 locally made rocket launchers, two locally made anti-craft guns, seven rocket propelled grenade, 2,358 assorted ammunitions and 1,057 assorted cartridges

Baba said proliferation of small arms and light weapons was a major threat to the peace and security of the country.

According to him, violence, banditry, secessionist movement, armed robbery, kidnapping and communal clashes are fueled by proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

He saidL “It is in this regard that the President, Muhammadu Buhari established the NCCSALW to curb the threats of the proliferation of illegal arms and ammunition trafficking.

“The Nigeria Police Force under my leadership have been evaluating and revaluating our operational strategies while strengthening our institutional capacity.

“This is in relation to the generation of actionable intelligence and the conduct of special operations directed at proactively checking this menace.”

Baba said the Police, which is the lead agency in internal security, has been in the forefront of mopping up weapons from criminal syndicates and members of the public.

In his remark, the NCCSALW National Coordinator, retired Major General Mohammed Dikko, said the centre was established two years ago with the mandate to mop up illicit arms and ammunition.

According to him, in pursuit of this mandate, the centre has been collaborating with security agencies to rid the society of the catalyst that fuel criminalities and other vices.

Dikko said the first collection of illicit weapon by the centre was in Bauchi State, where the handover was done by the Police Commissioner in charge of the state.

He said: “This to say that beside today, one of the key institutions of government within the security architecture that has continued to support the efforts of government through NCCSALW, is the Nigeria Police.

“I want to thank the IGP for his magnanimity, professionalism and doggedness in ensuring that he supports the NCCSALW in the discharge of its mandate.

“We are here to receive some of the weapons that have been seized by the Nigeria Police in the course of their legitimate duty.

“We shall continue to retrieve these weapons from the various police commands across the country.”

The National Coordinator said banditry, kidnapping cattle rustling, terrorism and other criminalities were fueled by illicit weapons.

Dikko added: “In our efforts to remove these weapons from circulation, we shall continue to partner with all security and intelligence agencies to nip this in the bud.

“What we have received today will form part of the decision making process to segregate those that are serviceable and those unserviceable.

“Identify those that were illegally brought into Nigeria and those traded into the country through third and fourth parties.”

Dikko said that NCCSALW also has the mandate to issue serviceable weapons back to security agencies for the protection of lives and property of citizen.

He said: “In that respect, I can assure the Nigeria Police that the weapons being handed over today will be made to go through due diligence.

“We will seek approval for those that will add value to your operations to be handed over back to you to enhance your operations.”