We’re not aware of any presidential order to revoke gun licences – Police
The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has insisted that it has no information about the Executive Order purportedly issued by President Muhammadu Buhari to revoke licences for firearms or short guns nationwide.
Reports have it that the Executive Order. which was reportedly signed on May 22, 2019, in response to threats by some Niger Delta militants to declare the Niger Delta Republic and secede from Nigeria. is to take effect from June 1 (today).
However, the police denied knowledge of the order barely 24 hours after the National Assembly, through the Federal House of Representatives, passed a resolution asking Buhari to reverse it in the interest of Nigerians.
The resolution followed the consideration and adoption of a motion, which came under Matters of Urgent Public Importance, titled, ‘Motion on the Need for Mr President to Rescind the Executive Order to Remove, Revoke and Banish all Firearms Certificates and Licences Throughout the Country,” at the plenary.
The legislatures argued that the Executive Order cannot override an Act of Parliament, noting that many citizens would be left vulnerable and would be at the mercy of mindless criminals, terrorists, bandits and kidnappers if the order was not rescinded.
According to the lawmakers, the licensed guns were not the ones used to perpetrate crimes, and withdrawing the guns would further expose law-abiding Nigerians to danger as they would become the target of “mindless criminals and bandits.”
If implemented, the Executive Order will require the police and other security agencies to confiscate all firearms in the possession of Nigerians. This means thousands of Nigerians would lose their licensed arms which may increase their vulnerabilities.
But responding to an enquiry from The Punch, the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, said: “I am not aware of the order and we cannot confirm the order.”
Mba declined further comments, saying that was all he could say on the matter.