The National Taskforce on Prohibition of Illegal Importation of Small Arms, Ammunitions and Light Weapons (NATFORCE) has dismissed allegations that it is still carrying out its activities without any hindrance despite the order of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd.).
The NSA, in June this year, had directed the immediate dismantling of all illegal security outfits across the country and cautioned individuals, organisations and foreign partners on the activities of NATFORCE, which he said was illegally formed as a task force to combat illegal importation and smuggling of small arms, ammunition and light weapons into Nigeria.
However, Dr Baba Mohammed, the Director-General of NATFORCE, in a statement, said that consequent upon the NSA’s directive, he had directed, vide an internal memo dated 12th June 2021, and another reminder on 12th November 2021 to all zonal state directors, prohibiting all activities at the commands.
The statement added that copies of the earlier statement made were also forwarded to the office of the NSA, DSS, the Police and all those concerned, saying the allegation that it had been recruiting personnel in defiance of the federal government’s directive was wrong.
It added that those activities could have occurred from miscreants and those who could be impersonating Dr Baba Muhammed.
Dr Muhammad added that following the NSA’s proscription, a series of warnings also followed against staff who may be found culpable of fraud, cheating and illegal operations, with threats that the full wrath of the law will be deployed on wanting staff.
He said NATFORCE is still waiting to hear a positive response from the two chambers empowered to make laws for the country i.e. the National Assembly, which will provide the needed legislative backing to properly define the responsibilities of the task force and set legal guidelines for its operations across the federation.