A civic group, Rule of Law and Advocacy Centre, has knocked the Nigeria Police Force for not offering explanations over the disappearance of 178,459 arms and ammunition from its armoury.
In a statement by RULAAC’s Executive Director, Okechukwu Nwanguma, the group urged President Muhammadu Buhari to address Nigerians on the matter, adding that these weapons may be in the hands of terrorists and other criminal elements disturbing the peace of the country.
The statement reads, "The revelation in the report of Nigeria's Auditor-General sent to the National Assembly that 178,459 arms and ammunition were found missing from the Nigeria Police armoury and the further information in a recent report by a researcher for the European Union which stated that the 12-year-long insurgency was powered by state-owned arms carted by terrorists after attacks on military bases, which are then used to fight the state are not only scandalous but scary. But Nigerians are used to scandalous stories that hardly scandalise people in government.
"But even more shocking is the fact that more than two weeks after this revelation hit the headlines and trending, the Nigeria Police authorities are yet to make any comment. Neither the Minister of Police Affairs nor the President has also said anything by way of demanding explanation from the police hierarchy.
"Nigerians deserve to know because it is about their resources and their safety and security.
"Six years after Buhari became President and having promised to lead the fight against insecurity from the front, being a retired military general, need we look further to understand why insecurity continues to grow and appears intractable?
"When we read reports about millions of arms in wide circulation and in the hands of non state actors including bandits, terrorists, kidnappers and armed robbers, when we read about so called “unknown gunmen” and attacks on police stations and other government infrastructure and the lack of capacity by the police to defend their stations and themselves, let alone defend fellow citizens, do we still wonder why?
"These troubling reports about the disappearance of arms and ammunition from police armoury and the failure of the police to explain or account for these missing arms warrant an emergency meeting of the Nigeria Police Council.
"The Police Council is composed of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as chairman, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, the incumbent Inspector-General of Police, and the governors of all the states and the FCT.
"Apart from advising the President on the appointment of a new Inspector-General of Police when there is vacancy, the council is also mandated under both the constitution and the Police Act to receive reports on the state of security across the country and to advice the President on ways of tackling insecurity.
"It is not on record that the police council has ever met under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
"The insecurity that continues to ravage the country leading to daily attacks and killings of Nigerians in hundreds across the states, displacement and impoverishment of Nigerians, and in particular these scandalous revelations about unexplained disappearance of arms warrant an urgent meeting of the police council.
"The disappearance of police arms and ammunition borders on safety and security, corruption, professional competence, rule of law and governance. It points to a likely complicity in crimes by those charged with the responsibility of keeping police arms.
"RULAAC calls on the President to address Nigerians on this scandalous revelation."