Bayelsa State Police Command on Friday assembled a total of 49 guns recovered from suspected cult members and other criminal elements across the state.
Briefing newsmen at the headquarters of the Police Command, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Don Awunah, said the arms and ammunition recovered followed the directive of the Inspector General of Police to mop up prohibited firearms and ammunition in possession of unauthorised persons across the country.
Awunah said, “After a diligent and systematic causative analysis of the national crime patterns throughout the country, the IGP, Ibrahim Idris, discovered that the unlawful possession of small arms and light weapons, standard or locally-made, fuels and drives violent crimes.
“The IGP directed immediate mop up and recovery of prohibited firearms, ammunition and weapons in possession of all suspected militias, bandits, vigilante groups, neighbourhood Watch or other groups or individuals in the country.”
The CP said the state command set up a task force headed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Mr. Andy Amiegheme, to mop up and recover illegal arms across the state.
The task force, according to the commissioner, immediately embarked on systematic crackdown on violent criminals across the state which led to the recovery of 49 assorted guns as well as live ammunition.
Awunah also revealed that most of the weapons were recovered from suspected cultists who had been terrorizing the state for the past one month.
The recovered arms were two AK-47 rifles, four Pump Action Rifles, one LAR rifle, one Barretta pistol, one Miama revolver pistol, 29 locally-made pistols, two locally-made cut-to-size double-barrelled guns, one locally-made double-barrelled pistol, five locally-made revolver pistols, two locally-made cut-to-size guns, one wooden gun, 58 unexpended cartridges and 9mm ammunition.
The CP used the medium to call on those still in possession of illegal arms and ammunition as specified under chapter F. 28 LFN 2004 Firearms Act to submit same to the Command within the grace period of one week.
He said though Bayelsa was one of the safest in terms of national crime index, cultism was still a serious matter in the state.
Though no suspect was paraded alongside the recovered arms, our correspondent discovered that papers bearing the types of gun or ammunition, names of suspects and nature of crimes were attached to each confiscated firearm”.