Gov. Bello issues 7-day ultimatum for return of illegal arms

Gov. Sani Bello of Niger has issued seven days ultimatum to individuals or groups with illegal firearms to surrender them to the appropriate authority in the state.

Bello gave the directive in a state broadcast on Saturday in Minna.

He spoke on the recent security challenges in some communities in Bosso Local Government Areas of the state.

According to him, the state will no longer accommodate individual or groups in possession of firearms and will not be a safe haven for criminals.

Bello decried the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in rural communities, invasion of some villages by cattle rustlers, kidnappers, bandits and armed robbers.

“We must rise now to fight this menace, and to achieve this task successfully, we must pay attention to what happens in our homes, villages and communities.

“We must make security of our environment our business by reporting any suspicious movement or activities around us to security agencies.

“The sad and emerging violent culture in our various communities is not a true reflection of of who we are or what we stand for, and belief in as a people.

“We cannot at this crucial point in our development as a state allow minor differences that can be mutually discussed and resolved to bring us to daggers drawn at one another,” he said.

He reiterated the banned on motorcycle from 7 p.m.to 6 a.m in the state capital and major cities, adding that he had “a stop and search operation” in the state.

Bello, however, called on the security agencies to exhibit professionalism in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities.

He urged them to intensify efforts to sustain inter-agency intelligence gathering for peaceful co-existence.

He commended Alhaji Umar Faruk, Emir of Minna, for ensuring return of normalcy to the affected communities.

The governor assured that relief materials would be povided to the affected families of the injured and displaced persons.