National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) has distanced itself from a publication claiming that the National Taskforce on the Prohibition of Illegal Importation/Smuggling of Arms, Ammunition and Light Weapons (NATFORCE) has links with it.
A statement by Group Captain Ewejide Akintunde for the national coordinator of NCCSALW said NATFORCE remains illegal.
He condemned the claims and insinuations that NATFORCE is linked to the NCCSALW and is an offshoot of the NCCSALW as contained in an opinion piece by one Ambassador Fatima Mohammed Goni as published in a national daily and some online media on 17th December 2021.
The article had said the NATFORCE is the most deserving body that could be used to augment the growing security lapses and civil strife and is a source of meaningful employment for the teeming youths who are roaming the streets without means of livelihood.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the information on NATFORCE’s relationship with NCCSALW circulating on social media and in some national dailies is not only false but malicious and intended to portray its affiliation with the NCCSALW in order to justify its deceitful recruitment drive.
“The NCCSALW wishes to affirm for the record that it has no connection with NATFORCE or any of its activities as conveyed by the publication.
“ Also, the Centre has not engaged NATFORCE or any individual or recruitment agents to recruit on its behalf. NATFORCE’s attempt to portray itself having any connection with NCCSALW is absolutely inept, inappropriate and deeply abhorrent.”
The centre, therefore, called on the general public to be wary of some misguided elements whose intention is to misinform the citizens for reasons best known to them.
The statement said, “In the wake of the wanton destruction of lives and property occasioned by the proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons, this is not the time to trivialise the efforts of the government at curbing security challenges confronting Nigeria today”.
It further enjoined Nigerians to stand resolute in condemnation of any form of criminality especially the needless proliferation of illicit weapons.
The NCCSALW urged all to eschew primordial sentiments and allow the effort of government to be institutionalised and entrenched.