The Nigeria Army on Monday said it had recovered no fewer than 706 small arms and light weapons from bandits and criminal elements within areas of operation in Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi States.
The Force Commander, Operation Hadarin Daji, Maj-Gen. Uwem Bassey, gave the figure at the handing over of the weapons to the North West National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) in Sokoto.
Bassey, the General Officer Commanding, 8 Division of the Nigeria Army, Sokoto, said the weapons were recovered from different clearance operations in the four states.
He explained that the operations were meant to get rid of bandits and other criminal elements across the North Western states.
“The weapons comprised of 203 AK-47, four Automated fabricated rifles, seven G3 rifles, one GPMG and three sub machine guns.
“Others are: one light machine gun, four FN rifles, 410 dane guns, 71 locally made pistols, one Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG), an empty canister and one pump action,” he said.
The operation commander thanked citizens who always provided credible information that led to the success of the weapons recovery.
He solicited for more information to enable troops bring the menace to an end, adding ”security is the business of all citizens”.
Bassey further urged media practitioners to always have national security at the back of their minds.
“While reporting events, always remember that without the well being of Nigeria, you cannot practice your profession,” he said.
Receiving the items, the Zonal Coordinator, NCCSALW, retired AVM Haruna Mohammed, appreciated the troops and urged them to sustain the tempo, in order to decisively curtail the activities of criminal elements.
“I encourage you all to step up the tide in ensuring that we recover all firearms from the society, knowing we are moving towards election period and we want everybody to be on the same page.
“I am confident that more weapons would be recovered from the criminal elements as the general public and military will continue to collaborate in the fight against possession of unlawful firearms.
“This has become the determination of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s-led administration to stop the senseless bloodletting and insecurity occasioned by the possession of unlawful firearms,” he said. (NAN)