The Inspector General of police, Ibrahim Idris, has directed commissioners of police to recover all forms of illegal firearms in the country within 21 days.
The directive from the police chief, further stated that upon expiration of the timeline, any one or group of people found guilty would face appropriate prosecution.
Force police public relations officer, Jimoh Moshood, made this known in a statement released on Thursday.
The categories of firearms identified by his statement are: artillery, apparatus for the discharge of any explosives of gas diffusing projectile, rocket weapons, bombs and grenades.
Machine guns and machine pistols, military rifles, those of calibres 7.62mm, 9mm, .300 inches, revolvers and pistols whether rifled or unrifled (including flint-lock pistols and cap pistols), pump action gun of all categories and any other firearms/lethal weapons fabricated to kill are also included in the category.
“The operation will equally include cordon and search and raid, seizure from any premises, hideouts, dwelling houses or buildings or sites (completed or under construction),” he said.
“All categories of people bearing arms in the name of vigilante groups, neighbourhood watch among others have been given 21 days from today to surrender them to commissioners of police in their states.”
“This operation which among other purposes, is aimed at the full enforcement of the Firearms Act, mopping-up and recovery of all prohibited firearms and illegally acquired.”
“The commissioners of police in charge of state commands are under strict instruction of the inspector general of police to enforce and carry out these directives in totality,” he said.
“They have also been directed to convene a security stakeholders meeting immediately to sensitize and educate the members of the general public.
“No licence will be given or recognised in respect of prohibited firearms and ammunition except granted by the president and commander-in-chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria upon the recommendation of the inspector general of police.”
According to him, the operation would enable the Nigeria Police Force deal decisively with herders and farmers clashes, kidnappings, armed robbery, cattle rustling, militancy, terrorism and all other forms of security challenges.