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500 blacksmiths make firearms for robbers – NCCSALW

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Over 500 blacksmiths are currently on the North Central Center for Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons’ watchlist for illegally fabricating firearms for bandits and other criminals in the country’s North Central zone.

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Major General Hamza Bature (retd), the center’s zonal coordinator, announced this during a courtesy visit to the Niger State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, in Minna.

Bature revealed that some of the blacksmiths were directly or indirectly making firearms for bandits and other criminals, so increasing the instability in the area.

“Over 500 blacksmiths have been identified in the North Central zone,” he claims. Some blacksmiths have abandoned their customary function of making products in favor of making guns for robbers and outlaws. Some know who they’re creating guns for, while others manufacture and are purchased through third parties.

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“We know them because we have acquired firearms directly or through third parties through the center without their knowing we have all their details such as names, phone numbers, and so on and are watching them; some are aware of it and have ceased this illegal activity, while others are continuing on it.”

He revealed that people on the center’s watchlist would be arrested soon and, if found guilty, would face the full force of the law.

He also urged members of the public who have firearms to bring them forward in order to reduce the proliferation of weapons and ensure a safe environment for all, especially with the general elections quickly approaching.

“We are also asking members of the public who have firearms to bring them to us. The more weapons people have, the more dangerous our society becomes. We can observe what happens in countries where citizens have the right to own firearms. It is no longer a military situation, but all essential stakeholders must take a stand against the expansion of armaments; if society turns against something, it will vanish, “he stated.

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Bature went on to say that the visit to the state NUJ was to enlist the union’s help in teaching society, particularly at the grassroots, about the dangers of possessing guns and the legal implications of doing so.

In response, the chairman of the Niger State NUJ, Abu Nmodu, pledged the union’s readiness to work with the center to achieve its goals.

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