Good morning gentlemen of the Press. You are welcome to Headquarters operation SAFE HAVEN the venue for today’s Press Briefing for the handover of recovered small arms and light weapons to the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons. These weapons were recovered during various operations conducted by the combined troops of operation SAFE HAVEN.
As you are all aware, the Federal Government of Nigeria established the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons in May 2021 in its determination to mitigate the senseless bloodletting and insecurity occasioned by the proliferation of Small Arms & Light Weapons (SALW) in circulation within our communities and society. The intent of the FG is to ensure the mopping up of all illicit SALW from the Nigerian society as this would curtail the undue proliferation of SALW in the country. As such the National Centre was established to institutionalize SALW control at all levels of the polity and to mainstream illicit SALW eradication efforts. The National Centre also has the mandate of retrieving all recovered illicit SALW in the holdings of all arms bearing security agencies in the country. I therefore urge all members of the public to support the federal government in its efforts to eradicate illicit arms in circulation and by extension, promote an illicit arms- free society.
Operation SAFE HAVEN has continued to record tremendous successes in stemming the tide of criminal attacks on communities and individuals in its area of operation. The leadership and troops of SAFE HAVEN have been employing both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches at community, local government as well as state levels to ensure the mandate of the operation is achieved. We have carried out series of community engagements, sensitization programmes and civil military cooperation to engage relevant civil society in a non-kinetic approach to resolving the lingering security challenges in our AOR. In our kinetic efforts, we have neutralized numerous bandits, arrested suspects, recovered weapons and prosecuted those culpable in fanning the embers of crisis in our area of operation. Our troops have also remained resolute to checkmate all forms of crimes. As it stands today, troops have maintained an offensive posture, conducting several kinetic operations in the form of raid operations on criminal hideouts, rescue operations, cordon and search, stop and search as well as patrols amongst others. These have led to huge recovery of illegal weapons, drugs and stolen vehicles used by the criminal elements.
The Operational successes recorded by troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN recently has led to the recovery of 517 small Arms and light weapons from criminal elements. This comprises of 40 automatic weapons and 477 locally fabricated firearms. The automatic weapons include 26 x AK 47 rifle, 1 x FN rifle, 2 x Berretta Rifle, 3 x G3 Rifle, 6 x Beretta pistol, 1 x Harris Burg pistol and 1 x SMG.
The locally fabricated weapons comprises of 183 x locally Fabricated Rifles, 163 x Dane Guns, 102 x Locally Fabricated Pistol and 19 x Locally Fabricated SMG. Others include 6 x Single Barrel Gun and 1 x Pump Action. These weapons are on display and will be handed over to the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons.
Before we commence with the physical handover of the weapons, let me seize this fleeting opportunity to dispel the unfounded campaign of calumny trending in some media platforms that the Commander Operation SAFE HAVEN and General Officer Commanding 3 Division has been compromising and taking side with a particular ethnic group in the conflict between farmers and herders in the plateau. Contrary to this falsehood, it is pertinent to note that as a member of the Armed Forces, I have sworn my allegiance to defend the country and protect the lives and properties of all citizens devoid of any ethnic, religious or pecuniary sentiments. I have always emphasized my stand to always be fair, just and treat all equally. The general public is hereby called to discountenance this unfounded argument orchestrated by some mischievous elements and resentful entities to cause unnecessary distractions towards huge successes recorded by operation SAFE HAVEN in recent past.
At this juncture let me commend the troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN for their resilience and huge successes recorded in curtailing criminal activities and recovery of numerous illicit weapons. I also want to thank and congratulate all law abiding citizens especially those who have been helpful to Operation SAFE HAVEN in providing actionable information leading to successful arms recovery. I urge the troops to sustain the tempo in order to decisively curtail the activities of criminal elements in our Joint Area of Operation. I also urge the troops to remain professional, vigilant and exhibit utmost respect for Human Right of citizens while discharging their constitutional roles. Furthermore, I must not fail to also appreciate the press and various media houses for their efforts at assisting Operation Safe Haven in the dissemination of relevant information to further aid the successes achieved by our troops.
Finally Operation SAFE HAVEN urges law abiding citizens to continue to support the troops and volunteer useful actionable information to security Agencies.
Thank You and God bless
21 April 202