Uvwie—Residents of Ekpan community in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State on Friday applauded the police over the recovery of weapons from over 30 militant youths.
The militants were said to have voluntarily surrendered their arms and ammunition at the Ekpan Division of the Nigeria Police.
The Punch reports that the weapons recovery by the police followed an initiative by the youths leadership and the Divisional Police Command, who championed the campaign for disarmament in the community.
The jubilant residents comprising mostly women and children trooped out to celebrate the recovery of arms and ammunition from over 30 militant youths who voluntarily surrendered at the police.
It was gathered that over 30 guns ranging from AK47, double barrelled guns, and other assorted rifles including G3, FMC, and mostly pump action guns with their ammunition had been recovered by the police in Ekpan Division as of Friday.
It was further gathered that there was a likelihood that more guns would be surrendered by more youths in the community following the truce reportedly by the Ekpan Divisional Police Officer, CSP Aliyu Shaba, after many years of terror reign by the militants who constantly engaged each other in fierce gun battles over the control of the community youth leadership.
One of the community leaders at the popular Ekpan market, Mrs. Grace Amurun, who could not hide her joy over the news of arms surrender by the warring factions, described the development as “a rare feat”.
While commending the initiative of the police division for making it possible, she recalled with nostalgia that youth restiveness and all sorts of violent crimes had been prevalent in the area for years.
She said, “Ekpan, as you are all aware, had been the most troublesome community in Delta State.
“For some of us who have lived here, we had to sleep every night with our two eyes open, especially in the last 10 years when youth restiveness and all sorts of violent crimes got to their peak.
“In all these years, there had never been a time that we heard that the militants surrendered their weapons on their own. This is the first time in history that we are hearing such and we are happy about it because this signifies the end of the violence that had terrorised the residents of this area.
“It is on this note that we want to sincerely appreciate those who have made this feat possible, especially Delta State governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, Delta State Commissioner of Police, CP Wale Abass, for the recommendation and approval for transfer of the new DPO, CSP Shaba, to Ekpan, as well as various community leaders for their commitment”.
Speaking in the same vein, the Ekpan Youths President, Comrade Victor Edavwe, noted that the initiative of arm surrendering by the community youths had paid off “due to the synergy between the youths leadership and the Delta State Police Command, that was ably represented by the Ekpan DPO, who championed the campaign for arms disarmament in the community”.
“We are still engaging our youths in a series of meetings and even till this morning, we held a meeting with various community leaders on the need to further admonish their youths to comply with the directive or be prepared to face the unpleasant consequences of defying the order to surrender their guns”, he stated.
The community youth leader specifically thanked the state governor, Delta CP, and the various community quarters’ leadership for their commitment and unrelenting efforts in ensuring that peace returned to Ekpan and its environs.