Nigeria: National Security Adviser Directs Dismantling of Illegal Security Outfits

In Nigeria, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) has directed the immediate dismantling of all illegal security outfits and warned against the use of these outfits to extort, harass and intimidate citizens.

“In particular, the Office has cautioned individuals, organizations and foreign partners on the activities of NATFORCE which was illegally formed as a taskforce to combat illegal importation and smuggling of small arms, ammunitions and light weapons into Nigeria,” ZM Usman, Head of Strategic Communication, Office of The National Security Adviser, said in a statement.

According to the statement, the ONSA is concerned with proliferation of illegal security outfits in the country.

“These illegal outfits have been masquerading and acting as part of the Nigerian security architecture while extorting, harassing and intimidating Nigerians.

“One of such groups is NATFORCE which seeks to combat illegal importation of Arms, Ammunition, Light Weapons, Chemical Weapons and Pipeline Vandalism and has been involved in mounting of illegal roadblocks, conducting illegal searches, seizures and recruitment.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the general public and all stakeholders are to note that NATFORCE is an illegal outfit without any mandate or authority to carry out these functions.

“This trend is unacceptable and the promoters of NATFORCE are warned to dismantle their structures and operations immediately.

“Following the setting up of the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons on 3 May 2021, Nigeria has initiated the process for the full implementation of Article 24 of the ECOWAS Convention on small arms and light weapons.

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“In this regard, national and international stakeholders are encouraged and expected to work closely with the Centre to strengthen Government-Civil Society initiatives,” the statement said.

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