Gun running: NDF calls for immediate arrest of Amosun, asks Ortom, Ishaku to submit arms to FG

June 26th, 2019

The National Democratic Front (NDF) has called for the immediate arrest of former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun for alleged gun-running and abating terrorism in the country.

Revelation emerged recently that few hours to the end of his reign as Ogun State helsman, embattled Governor Ibikunle Amosun contacted the state’s Commissioner of Police, Bashir Makama, confessing that he had thousands of arms and millions of ammunition in store at a secret armoury in Government House, and that he had decided to hand them over to the police.

Reacting to the shocking development, NDF said the governor should be picked up and prosecuted for sponsoring unrest.

Addressing newsmen on Wednesday, Bolaji Abdukadir, Secretary General of NDF also called on other Nigerian governors who are still habouring criminals and weapons to submit same immediately .

The group specically called on Benue State Govermor, Samuel Ortom, his Taraba counterpart, Darius Ishaku and others to turn in their weapons for their own good.

The statement reads in full.

Gentlemen of the press, it has been more than 24 hours since Nigerians were first assaulted by news that the immediate past governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun surrendered 1000 automatic assault rifles and 4 million rounds of ammunition to the state’s commissioner of police shortly before he left office. We had waited this long in the hope that he would step forward to refute the story and prove that he was wrongly accused of this heinous crime against the country.

Permit us to digress a little to put this development in the proper context and perspective. According to the Nigeria Police Force, Ogun state has 7,107 police officers. Although the inventory of the Police is not made public, it is safe to extrapolate that there should be about one AK47 rifle for ever other seven police officer. The implication is that Amosun’s armoury effectively had more firearms than the Ogun State Police Command and at least ten times more ammunition than the command has in its inventory.

If that is not scary enough, going by the 2006 population census, Amosun kept enough bullets to kill the entire 3,751,140 citizens of the state with enough left to kill the entire population of a local government area in any neighbouring state. Knowing the kind of havoc that can be wreaked by a team of robbers with only one AK47 rifle and 10 bullets and assuming 4 rifles are allowed to each team with 2000 bullets each, Amosun’s illegal armoury will effectively leave Nigeria with 250 marauding gangs of robbers, enough to overwhelm the combined efforts of all security agencies. This is treason!
We must note, according to the report, that Amosun only cunningly presented the weapons to the police commissioner because he did not want his successor to discover them. Had his preferred candidate won the weapons he would have kept the armoury concealed and they would have continued to ease the weapons into circulation to destabilize Nigeria in their bid to frustrate the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. The excuse that the deadly consignment was procured for distribution to security agencies in the state is patently false because they would have been handed over long before his anointed candidate lost the elections.

The National Democratic Front (NDF) is eager for the federal government to get to the bottom of the weapon cache found with Amosun. It is pertinent to find out how he was able to ship such large consignment into the country without being found out, which could also suggest that there could be a company secretly manufacturing death in the country. The investigation must unveil the extent of collusion in the Nigeria Police, Department of State Services (DSS) and Nigerian Custom Service, if any. It is not likely that such large consignment could have been ferried around without the knowledge of these law enforcement agents. Where they are able to prove that they were unaware then a case of dereliction of duty must be opened against them.

We are concerned that for Amosun to have kept an inventory of 1000 rifles and 4,000,000 bullets, a larger number of the hardware would have fallen into the wrong hands. This explains the proliferation of light weapons that are in part responsible for the security breaches across the country. It is necessary to verify how much of these weapons he originally ordered for shipping into the country and how many of them he lost in transit, how many he has issued out prior to the election and the people he gave the weapons to.

Our concern is that Ibikunle Amosun is not alone in perpetrating acts that have put guns and bullets on our streets to make the country unsafe. In the past, Mr. Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state was named by captured militias as the one arming and funding them. His neighbour, Mr. Darius Ishaku of Taraba state named in a similar fashion. Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike has been linked with not only arming militants with deadly weapons but also kitting them in military uniform. Former governor Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari of Zamfara state was linked to the birth of the so called banditry that has turned the state into a killing field while his counterpart in Borno, Kashim Ibrahim Shettima had a relationship that tolerated Boko Haram.

With the exposure of Amosun as gunrunner, NDF has been vindicated in its earlier insistence that serving and former governors are responsible for the current widespread insecurity in the country and that dealing with them is the key to restoring security to the country. They unleashed this hardship on the country in their desperation to cling onto power or to ensure that they continue ruling their respective states by installing proxies as successors. This is why we believe that the discovery in Ogun state is nothing but the tip of the iceberg. More confounding revelations await the nation once the bold step is taken to investigate sources of weapons that are being used to torment Nigerians across the land.

NDF is therefore demanding that the Federal Government immediately order that Senator Ibikunle Amosun be taken into custody for further investigation. The federal government must expand the investigation to include other states where the governor or former governor has been named as sponsoring militias or militants while such individuals are asked to surrender all the arms and ammunitions in their warehouses and armouries. It is our humble view that this should be treated as a national emergency and if it becomes expedient that a state of emergency is declared to counter this threat so be it, the affected states should be placed under lockdown until all illicit firearms are mopped up and recovered.

In the meantime, we are sending a strong message to all the identified serving and past governors that irrespective of whether the federal government acts or not, we are giving them a 7-grace to turn in all the weapons in their custody while also ordering those to whom they have issued weapons to return them for surrender to security agencies like Amosun did. A failure to submit the inventory in their illegal armouries will lead to citizens will declaring civil disobedience against them. We have gotten to the crossroads where we have decided to take our fate into our own hands in the face of these blood sucking demons that we call governors.

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