.To recruit 259,000 people

From Okwe Obi, Abuja

National Commission Against the Proliferation of Arms, Light Weapons and Pipeline vandalism has declared war on smugglers of light weapons and chemical weapons.

NATCOM noted that in the next 100 days, it will embark on a massive campaign on clampdown on arm smugglers while also calling on President Bola Tinubu for quick assent to the bill that seeks to establish the commission pending before him.

Acting Director General of the Commission, Adejare Adegbenro, told journalists shortly after he was appointed as the new boss of the Commission in Abuja at the weekend.

The event brought states commandants and some stakeholders who passed a vote of no confidence on Baba Mohammed, who was served as NATCOM acting Director General before the meeting.

Adegbenro said the Commission will also embark on the creation of 7,000 jobs in each state of the federation as its own contribution towards curbing youth restiveness.

“Our core mandate is to stop the importation of illegal arms, ammunition and chemical weapons. It means that we have to go down even to the fishermen in each state from the lowest level to the highest level to make sure that we comply with the ECOWAS treaty which Nigeria is a signatory to in 2006, to make sure that all these ammunition coming into our country through the borders, seas are stopped, we will also ensure that we totally try our best to work with other agencies to know where these leakages are coming from.

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“So, we are going to make sure that in the next 100 days, we make a lot of seizures from importers, sellers, hoarders that hold all these weapons, we are going to go on a massive campaign to clampdown and work with other agencies to make sure we achieve this. I will not say it is going to be an easy job, but we will succeed because I am a go getter,” he said.

Adegbenro said the Commission is in tandem with the ECOWAS Commission which is to battle against the importation of illegal arms ammunition, small weapons and chemical weapons.

“The Commission is meant to work together with other ECOWAS member states. We are suffering insecurity in Nigeria because of this illegal importation of arms and ammunition which in collaboration with other states in ECOWAS to work together to minimise or eradicate the importation of these weapons.

“It will be nice for the new government to embrace us, and give us all the necessary backing including the National Assembly.

“We have a lot of youths out there yearning for jobs, in the 100 days of our new president, we want to embark on making sure that we employ at least 7000 youths for each state in Nigeria, that takes unemployment out of the window”, he added.

Earlier, secretary of the commission’s standing committee, Fidel Agaba, while reading the communique explained that the removal of Mohammed was meant to reposition NATCOM for efficiency.

He further explained that the move was effected to boost the government of Tinubu in its drive to effectively secure Nigeria for the betterment of citizens.

”Council of Commandants, COCON, have therefore totally lost confidence in the leadership styles, approaches and incompetence of Dr. Baba Mohammed and hereby passes vote of no confidence on him.

”The Council/ Members of the State Directors/ Commandants have today duly duly ratified the appointment of Dr. Adejare Adegbenro the former Director Special Duties in the Commission as the new acting Director General of NATCOM who automatically takes over the mantle of leadership of the commission and all its affairs/ management with immediate effect”, he stated.