NIGERIAN Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Lucky Irabor, has decried the proliferation of illegal arms in the country, saying it was a threat to Nigeria’s corporate existence.
Irabor who stated this in Asaba, the Delta State capital while addressing journalists after a courtesy visit to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, said the Presidential directive to shoot-at-sight anyone illegally bearing AK-47 rifle was very clear and must be enforced.
While saying Nigeria as a country forbade illegal bearing of arms, he warned that anyone found with such weapons was an enemy of the state and would be treated as such.
Irabor said: “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. The Armed Forces in partnership with other security agencies will do all that is necessary to bring peace and security across the land and Nigeria certainly, will know peace again”.
Disclosing that he was in Delta for the first time since he was appointed CDS, he commended Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his support to the armed forces and other security agencies in the state.
He said: “Delta is my home and it feels good to be home, and I said that I cannot come home without paying a courtesy call on the Governor of the state who has done well, giving very credible support to the members of the armed forces and security agencies.
“I am aware of the threat dispositions within Delta even though it is stable now, but we know that there are areas of interest that we will need to do a lot to add value in up-scaling the security disposition of the state and this is part of what myself and my colleagues were doing. I believe that the state will in no time begin to experience greater level of peace and security.”
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in his remarks, congratulated the CDS on his appointment and promotion, charging him to do more to secure the nation.
Okowa said: “I want to use this opportunity to congratulate you again on your appointment and subsequent promotion to the rank of General. 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. I must say that you have started well because I had the opportunity of being at the stakeholders meeting in Abuja and I must commend you for that.
“Here in Delta, we have our own security outfit – Operation Delta Hawk – and we are able to work together in terms of our information gathering.
“We will need more support, especially in the Warri area where we have oil installations because when the place is more peaceful and secure, more industries will come”.