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NGO calls for embargo on sale of machete, knives on streets - Insecurity

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Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
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calendar-icon Posted on: 2021-01-24 19:27:30
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A non-governmental organisation, Equilibrium Initiative has decried the rising use of machetes, knives, bows and arrows in violence in Nigeria, saying it is time for the government to ban the sale of weapons on the streets.
Chairman/CEO of the Equilibrium Initiative, Senator Philip Gyunka in a statement sent to Press on Saturday in Abuja, said the call was in tandem with the Firearms Act, 1959, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
He said Nigeria’s internal security since 2015 has been threatened by the nation’s porous borders, noting that aliens troop into the country and attack citizens in their farms with these weapons.
His statement reads in part:
“It is without controversy that the influx of herdsmen from neighbouring countries into Nigeria skyrocketed and the internal security challenges have been on the rise as well.
“Incidences of kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry, insurgency, violent clashes between farmers and herders have been unrelenting thus weakening the already overstretched social control mechanisms.
“The sale of dangerous weapons such as machetes, knives, bows and arrows on our highways in the public glare of security personnel is not only worrisome but monstrously destructive.
“This is sequel to the fact that these weapons are often used to unleash terror on unsuspecting communities in a coordinated orchestration of carnage that often leaves in their trail bloodshed and the stygian gloom of war.
“The Firearms Act 1959 LN prohibits the sale of arms and ammunition including light weapons such as knives and machetes except for agricultural use with proper licensing.”
Senator Gyunka said security agents have poorly enforced the laws that guided the sales of those dangerous weapons, which he said largely contributed to its misuse.
He called on the Police, Civil Defence, Customs and other security agents to rise to the occasion of stopping the hawking of weapons on the highways and streets, saying herders have brazenly used them in their attacks.
“The brazen impunity of herdsmen who brandish these weapons and use them to attack farmers who dare complain of the destruction of their crops by the marauding cattle of these pastoralists should impel security agencies to swiftly commence arrest and prosecution.
“This unfortunate act of criminality should be addressed forthwith by the government to restore confidence in the public on their resolve to fight insecurity without prejudice to tribe or religious cleavages.
“The disturbing corroboration of the danger this represents is the intelligence report by the Department of State Services (DSS) dated 11th Jan 2021 which reads in part; “the Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to alert the public about plans by some elements working with external forces to incite religious violence across the country.
“Targeted States include “Sokoto, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Rivers, Oyo, Lagos and those in the South East.”

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