Nigerian Military Warns Against Illegal Arms Possession

Martha Obi, Abuja

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The Nigerian military has issued a stern warning against the unlawful possession of arms aimed at endangering the safety of citizens, particularly in light of recent incidents in Oyo State, North West Nigeria.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Edward Buba, emphasised this caution during a briefing with journalists in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

General Buba underscored that such actions blatantly violate the constitution and are intolerable, as they involve individuals or groups taking up arms against a legitimate government.

“Anyone or group that contravenes this provision of the constitution is inviting severe military action and would be dealt with decisively,”  he said.

He urged the civil populace and civil societies to unite in a concerted effort, adopting a whole-of-society approach to aid in the complete eradication of these terrorist threats.

According to him, the time is now for citizens to know that they have a responsibility to the nation. He said that “the military recognises that there is still a challenging and tough war campaign ahead.

“Overall, our objective is to defeat the terrorists and their cohorts by denying them the ability to continue to fight,” he said.

According to him, the lifeline of these terrorist groups is for the people to win the war without the support of the people is close to impossible.

“For instance, a cursory look at our security situation shows that it is unique, in the sense of being self-inflicted. Beginning with the Boko Haram Terrorist in the North East. The illegal mining and kidnapping enterprises in the North West and North Central, these are perpetrated under the guise of terrorism.

“The agitation of IPOB in the SE has proven to be for self-aggrandisement. Then, the call for a Yoruba nation, which is laughable. All these buttresses how our security situation is self-inflicted in the country,” he added.

Also Read: MNJTF Troops Intercept Vehicle Carrying Illegal Arms

Strong fighting spirit

General Buba noted that above all, the fighting spirit of the men and women in uniform is strong, resilient, focused, proud and committed, as they understand that they have no choice but to continue to fight to defeat the enemy and create a safer environment for citizens.

In another vein, General Buba said that “troops neutralised 192 terrorists and arrested 341 persons while rescuing 62 kidnapped hostages during the period under review.”

He noted that a total of 122 ISWAP/JAS combatant terrorists surrendered with their family members.

He said that “troops also arrested 37 perpetrators of oil theft. In the SS, troops denied oil theft of the estimated sum of Eight Hundred and Twenty-One Million Two Hundred and Forty-Eight Thousand Seven Hundred and Forty Naira (N821,248,740.00) only.”

Furthermore, troops recovered 211 assorted weapons and 6,288 assorted ammunition.

The breakdown is as follows: 128 AK47 rifles, 26 Dane guns among other items.  Others are 1,301 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 3,260 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 1,325 live cartridges, and 140 rounds of 9mm ammo among other items.

According to him, in the Niger Delta region, troops uncovered and obliterated 99 dugout pits, 36 storage tanks, and 192 cooking ovens, as reported by authorities.

Their efforts resulted in the recovery of 349,970 litres of stolen crude oil, 112,135 litres of illegally refined AGO, 7,560 litres of DPK, and 13,000 litres of PMS.

He said additionally, the military is actively engaged in eradicating terrorist elements, dismantling their networks, and establishing conditions to prevent further acts of terror or harm to citizens. This commitment extends to relentlessly pursuing the leadership of these terrorist groups across all operational fronts.

Meanwhile, amidst these operations, a moment of silence was observed to honour the officers and others who sacrificed their lives in defence of their homeland.

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