September 26, 2022

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FG disbands Task Force on prohibition of illegal importation, smuggling of arms

FG disbands Task Force on prohibition of illegal importation, smuggling of arms

The Federal Government has disbanded the National Task Force on the Prohibition of Illegal Importation/Smuggling of Arms, Ammunition, Light Weapons, Chemical Weapons, and Pipeline Vandalism (NATFORCE).

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the announcement while briefing State House correspondents after the National Security Council meeting in Abuja on Thursday.

Aregbesola described the private security outfit as an illegal organization saying its duties are already covered by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno.

This is coming barely two months after Senate passed into law the bill establishing the commission, while the House of Representatives is expected to pass its version upon resumption in September 2022.

Aregbesola said, “The task force is an illegal body. There was never a time the Nigerian government set it up with any legislative instrument or power. So, what I’ve come here to tell Nigerians through you is that the body should simply disband itself or risk being forcefully disbanded by all security agencies.

“It is unknown to Nigerian laws and, therefore, illegal. It does not have any power at all to operate, and it has been illegal all the while, but we are now reinforcing the fact that it’s an illegal organisation that doesn’t have to operate anywhere in Nigeria. It should just phase out itself or risk the possible disbandment by security agencies.”

Continuing, he said: “We are just saying with this announcement to disband themselves or risk being disbanded forcibly by the Nigerian law enforcement agencies.

“I’m reporting to you the decision of the Nigerian Security Council, if you understand what it means, this is the highest executive organ on security in Nigeria.”

During the briefing, the Minister of Police Affairs Mohammed Dingyadi also updated journalists on other discussions at the security meeting. Some of them include negotiations for the release of the Abuja-Kaduna railway attack victims, a vote of confidence in the operations, gains recorded by the security forces and assurance of national peace for the conduct of next year’s poll.