The Kogi State Government has begun to clamp down on the disbanded National Task Force operating illegally in the State.
The Director General, of Kogi State Special Task Force on Illegal Smuggling Firearms and Other Related Crimes, Elder Friday Sani Makama disclosed this on Monday shortly after a strategic meeting with the Importers Association of Nigeria, (IMAN) Special Task Force.
Addressing journalists after the meeting on Monday, Makama said it has come to the notice of the agency that arms are being smuggled into the Kogi State due to the illegal operation of the disbanded NAT force.
While charging IMAN to partner with the agency to stop illegal arms smuggling to Kogi State, Makama added that all those involved with this illegal act will be arrested and prosecuted.
” The NAT force has been disbanded by the Federal Government. But it has come to our notice that some disgruntled elements are operating in the name of NAT force extorting money from people and ensuring that armed are smuggled into Kogi State. We are going to put an end to this.
“With the mandate given to us by our amiable Governor, we are determined to ensure that those in possession of illegal arms, including the illegal operation of the disbanded NAT force are apprehended”.
While frowning at the impasse surrounding the operation of IMAN in Kogi State, Makama enphacized that, for the agency to achieve it’s mandate in the State, it is important for them to unite to ride the state of crimes and criminalities.
The Taskforce DG reminded the officials that, the Government of Kogi State under Governor Yahaya Bello remains committed to liberate the people from the criminal element, just as he warned that, any individual no matter highly connected who are in possession of arms and ammunition illegally will be arrested and prosecuted.
According to Makama, the task force is committed to succeed on the mandate of Governor Yahaya Bello, charging them to as a matter of urgency, begin the recovery of illegal arms across the 21 Local Governments of Kogi State.
He said the agency has been given a matching order by Governor Bello to identify agencies that would contribute to the security of Kogi State, adding that, his organization demands to know the entire membership of IMAN to avoid any impostors in the system.
He demanded that the body should avail to his office the number of checkpoints in the State and to review other critical things if necessary.
Makama, who was a former technical adviser of IMAN fumed on the falsehood propagated by the factional group, stressing that, “it will no longer be business as usual”.
“If you want to achieve success, you must be diligent in your duties. It is no longer business as usual. We are committed to stopping illegal smuggling. We can’t fold our harms and allow some individuals to polite our State with ammunitions for their own selfish interest”
Responding, Kogi State Director, Importers Association of Nigeria, (IMAN) Special Task Force Idris Usman Abubakar noted that IMAN needs a speed boat in some riparian areas in the State to stop the smuggling of arms into the State to perpetrate crime.