National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Niger on Thursday urged communities to surrender unregistered or illegal weapons in their possession to government.
The state Director of NOA, Alhaji Mohammed Ali, made the call while inaugurating a one-day step-down of security sensitisation forum against political thuggery, drug addiction and kidnapping in Bosso Local Government Area.
Ali said Federal Government was doing everything possible to regulate the use of firearms and other dangerous weapons to secure lives and property in the country.
He added that “the Federal Government has given time-frame to mop up unregistered firearms and other dangerous weapons in circulation.
“So, if you have any arms and ammunition in your house, you should surrender them to the nearest police because government will go from house to house to recover such weapons.”
The director explained that stockpiling illegal weapons in communities was responsible for some of the clashes among rural dwellers.
He noted that “some 30 years ago, we slept with our two eyes closed in Nigeria but today, the reverse is the case.
“We now have all forms of community clashes, armed robbery, kidnapping and other forms of vices.”
The NOA official urged people in the area to embrace positive attitude to make the country a better place for all.
He advised the people to contribute at the forum, as government would use their suggestions to formulate policies that would guarantee safety of lives and property.
He said “if you have any complaint, feel free to report to us here or the nearest NOA office close to you.”
Munir Lawal, the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DPO) in charge of the area, explained categories of offences to the people, ranging from civil to criminal offence.
Lawal advised the people not to take laws into their hands on any issue but to report to the police for proper action.
He appealed to the people to help security agencies by reporting suspicious objects, movements and persons to the nearest security agency.
Alhaji Bello Mohammed, the Fulani Leader in the area, attributed herders/farmers clashes to miscreants and not the real herdsmen.
Mohammed called for information sharing among community leaders and Fulani leaders to avert clashes.
Alhaji Mohammed Doma, the village Head of Garatu, commended Federal Government for initiating the forum and promised that it would go down to the grassroots.
Meanwhile, NOA said the sensitisation, tagged “Do the Right Thing, Change Begins with Me’’ carried out in Garatu community in Bosso Local Government Area of Niger would be extended to the remaining 24 local government areas of the state.