The National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Munguno (rtd.) has directed the immediate dismantling of illegal security outfits across the country aimed at extorting and harassing members of the public.
Such outfits include the National Taskforce on the Prohibition of Illegal Importation/Smuggling of Arms, Ammunitions, Light Weapons, Chemical Weapons, and Pipeline Vandalism (NATFORCE), according to a press statement on Sunday by the Head, Strategic Communications, Office of the National Security Adviser, Mr. Zachari Usman.
The statement cautioned individual, domestic and foreign organizations on the activities of NATFORCE which claimed to monitor the inflow of Light And Small Weapons into the country.
The statement said, National Centre For The Control Of Small Arms And Light Weapons under The Office Of The National Security Adviser is saddled with such mandate and cautioned NATFORCE on further interference.
It added that the illegal outfits were masquerading and acting as part of the Nigerian security architecture while extorting, harassing and intimidating Nigerians.
According to the statement,“The Office of the National Security Adviser has directed the immediate dismantling of all illegal security outfits and warned against the use of these outfits to extort, harass and intimidate Nigerians.
“In particular, the office has cautioned individuals, organisations and foreign partners on the activities of NATFORCE, which was illegally formed as a task force to combat illegal importation and smuggling of small arms, ammunition and light weapons into Nigeria.
“The National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) domiciled in the Office of the National Security Adviser is the national coordination mechanism for the control and monitoring of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria.
“The Office of the National Security Adviser has observed with concern the proliferation of illegal security outfits in the country. These illegal outfits have been masquerading and acting as part of the Nigerian architecture security while extorting, harassing and intimidating Nigerians.
“One of such groups is NATFORCE, which seeks to combat illegal importation of arms, ammunition, light weapons, chemical weapons and pipeline vandalism and has been involved in mounting of illegal roadblocks, conducting illegal searches, seizures and recruitment.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the general public and all stakeholders are to note that NATFORCE is an illegal outfit without any mandate or authority to carry out these functions.
“This trend is unacceptable and the promoters of NATFORCE are warned to dismantle their structures and operations immediately.”