Abdulrahman Dambazau, the Minister of Interior, has blamed the easy movement of firearms and other criminal activities in West African on the instability in Libya, a country in North Africa.
The minister said this at the 16th annual General Assembly of West African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO), held in Abuja, on Tuesday.
He urged police chiefs in West Africa to collaborate more in order to tackle transnational crimes within the sub-region, noting that a single country cannot successfully combat trans-border crimes.
He said: “The proliferation of firearms is a big challenge in this sub-region, particularly because of the flow of firearms from unstable countries, like Libya. After Muamar Gaddafi, Libya went into conflict and it is still in conflict. Some of the weapons used in the country were trickling down through Mali, Niger and others.
“We are here because it is a regional issue. It is an issue that has to do either trans-border criminal activities, smuggling and terrorism. A country or a security agency cannot deal with these crimes on its own. This is the reason we have come together as a sub-region to assess the situation and deal with it accordingly.”
The minister also said there is need for collaboration and information sharing among security agencies in the sub-region.
Police chiefs in the sub-region have also asked the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) to upgrade it to a directorate.
The security chiefs, under the aegis of WAPCCO, regretted that its current structure makes it difficult for it to perform its roles optimally.
WAPCCO Chairman and acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu said constant meetings would avail the security chiefs the opportunity to tackle proliferation of firearms, terrorism, kidnapping and other crime within the sub-region.
Adamu noted that the inability of the committee to meet in the last five years restrained it from tackling some security challenges witnessed in the sub-region.
On some of the challenges confronting ECOWAS, he said: “We are having security challenges in the whole of West African sub-region and there is need for police chiefs and other heads of other security agencies to come together to see how we can bring down the level of crime within the sub-region.
“If you look at the 15 countries in the West African sub-region, you will see that they have one challenge or the other. We know that in Nigeria, we have challenges that involve kidnapping and we know that arms and ammunition are coming from outside the country but within the region. There is need to stop the influx of arms and ammunition within the country.”
Adamu said security agencies at the meeting would see how to fortify the borders to prevent infiltration by criminals.
On the need to upgrade WAPCCO to directorate position, the IGP said: “I respectfully submit without pre-empting your minds that it will not be difficult to come to the inevitable conclusion that the WAPCCO as currently situated within the border structure of ECOWAS is inhibiting the ability of the body to optimally attain its mandate.
“It is my humble suggestion that a review of the status of WAPCCO within the ECOWAS secretariat has become evidently necessary. Consequently, it is suggested that WAPCCO be upgraded to a directorate in ECOWAS.
“This will guarantee the regularity of WAPCCO’s thereby enhancing the dynamism and effectiveness of the Committee.”
Armed men storm Rivers community, kill 15
Rampaging armed cultists invaded the community, raiding the home of rival cult members, killing at random.
A source in the community, who confirmed the killing, said the community have been witnessing cult related attacks as result of supremacy battle among rival gangs.
The source, who is a youth leader in the community identified as, Ana Hyacinth, said the incident has forced inhabitants to desert the community.
He called on government at all levels to urgently intervene in the situation to rescue the people.
“We woke up to a very gory situation in Kono Bo-ue Community to the fact that over 15 fifteen people were shot and killed by an armed cult group.
“It is unfortunate that despite moves by the governor to put an end to these killings, cultists have continued to Carey out attacks,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State police command has been contacted and were yet to react to the killing in Kono Bo-ue community in Khana Local Government Area at the time of this report.
Kaduna: ECWA pastor, daughter, 16 others kidnapped
The Nation reports that the Pastor and 16 others, among whom were his daughter and son of the pastor of Assemblies of God Church, were seized by gunmen within the church premises during service on Sunday.
Zaria DCC Secretary of the church, Rev Nath Waziri said “It is sad to inform you that one of our pastors, his daughter and 15 other members of ECWA Church Dankade were kidnapped in the early hours of today.
“The church hosted a combined choir fellowship Saturday night to early hours of today. Then, this morning (Sunday), kidnappers stormed the church, when the gunmen came, they asked everyone in the church to surrender his or her phones and demanded the whereabouts of the pastor.
“After threatening the choristers they became afraid and showed them the pastor’s home. They took him away and his daughter with 15 others, including the son of the pastor of Assemblies of God Church.”
He added that as at 10 p.m. on Sunday, no contact has been established with the kidnappers.
Nigerian newspapers: 10 things you need to know this Monday morning
1. A former Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has urged former President Olusegun Obasanjo to say more things he knows about Boko Haram, killer herdsmen and the alleged plot to Islamise Nigeria. He said Obasanjo remains the only politically active southern and Middle Belt leader that understands what is really going on, the grave danger Nigeria is in and what lies ahead. He also attacked former Jigawa governor, Sule Lamido, for attacking Obasanjo and defending President Muhammadu Buhari.
2. The Ohanaeze Youth Council, OYC, on Sunday, slammed the minister of transport, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi over his declaration that Ndigbo should forget 2023. In a statement by its National Secretary, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, the OYC said Amaechi was now the chief promoter of injustice. Okwu said it was an insult of the highest order for Amaechi to arrogate to himself the powers he does not have.
3. Former Governor of Jigawa state and Peoples Democratic party chieftain in the country, Sule Lamido has tackle former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo over his recent statements on insecurity in the country. Lamido while responding to the statement said Obasanjo was becoming a bigot due to his disappointment against the sitting president.
4. Staff and students of Kwara State Polytechnic have threatened to stage a peaceful protest over the appointment of a new Rector by the outgoing administration in the state. Mr. Kayode Rafiu, the leader of the students, said this in a statement issued in Ilorin on Sunday. Rafiu said the protest would commence on Tuesday, May 21. He said the protest became necessary due to the alleged “shabby process in the appointment of a new rector for the institution by the outgoing administration.’’
5. Nigeria international striker, Asisat Oshoala has become the first African to score in a UEFA Women’s Champion League final. The Super Falcons attacker came in as an 87th-minute substitute in Saturday’s final. With Lluis Cortes’ side trailing 4-0, the 25-year-old scored in the 89th minute. Her goal was, however, not enough to inspire her team’s fight back.
6. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Sunday reacted to claim by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed that its 2019 presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar was plotting to overthrow the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government. However, spokesperson of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan said the claim was a sign of desperation by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to hold onto power. Ologbondiyan alleged that APC was plotting to fabricate security accusations against the PDP and Atiku.
7. A senior Pastor of Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Dankade, in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Rev. Zakariah Ido has been kidnapped. Reports claim that the Pastor and 16 others among whom were his daughter and son of the pastor of Assemblies of God Church, were seized by gunmen within the church premises during service on Sunday.
8. At least, fifteen persons have been allegedly killed and some beheaded by suspected cultists in Kono Bo-ue community in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State in a fresh cult clash in the area. Rampaging armed cultists invaded the community, raiding the home of rival cult members, and killing at random.
9. The Edo Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed DanMallam, on Sunday confirmed the killing of a lecturer with the Igbinedion University, Okada, near Benin, by suspected kidnappers. DanMallam said the lecturer, Kelvin Izebeokhai, was killed in an attempt to escape when the victims were being marched into the forest by the kidnappers.
10. Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State has assured that the additional four Emirates have come to stay, insisting that, they were created in good faith without any disdainful treatment to anybody or group of individuals. He said this on Sunday while insisting that the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi is no longer the only first-class monarch in the state.
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