By Shola Abayomi.
The Nigeria Police Force has refuted having knowledge of the Executive Order reportedly signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on May 22, 2019, to revoke licences for firearms or short guns nationwide, which was prompted by threats of secession by some Niger Delta militants to declare a Niger Delta Republic.
According to reports, the Executive Order which is bound to take effect from today, authorizes the police and other security agencies to confiscate all firearms in the possession of Nigerians.
Responding to questions from pressmen about the plan of the Force in implementing the order, the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba said, “I am not aware of the order and we cannot confirm the order.”
Recall that the House of Representatives, had earlier passed a resolution titled, ‘Motion on the Need for Mr President to Rescind the Executive Order to Remove, Revoke and Banish all Firearms Certificates and Licences Throughout the Country,” asking Buhari to reverse the order in the interest of Nigerians.
The lawmakers argued that, “many citizens would be left vulnerable and would be at the mercy of mindless criminals, terrorists, bandits and kidnappers, if the order was not rescinded.”
They added that “licensed guns were not the ones used to perpetrate crimes, noting that withdrawing the guns would further expose law-abiding Nigerians to danger as they would become the target of “mindless criminals and bandits.”
They urged security agencies to rather pursue criminals perpetrating crime with unlicensed guns.
The Presidency had neither denied nor affirmed the reported executive order. The National Assembly Liaison Officer to the president, Senator Ita Enang, refused commenting on the issue. He said, “It is not appropriate for me to speak on it. That is my response.”