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Ned Nwoko meets Nigerian Army over Onicha-Olona Illegal Arms Factory

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Ned Nwoko meets Nigerian Army over Onicha-Olona Illegal Arms Factory


Progress and Prospects on Onicha-Olona Illegal Arms Factory

Following my recent visit to Headquarters 63 Brigade, Asaba, and productive discussions with the Brigade Commander, I am pleased to announce progress in addressing the situation regarding the illegal arms factory discovered in Onicha-Olona community, Delta State.

Efforts have been made to ensure fair treatment for those involved, balancing justice with the opportunity for rehabilitation and contribution to society. I am pleased to reveal that through collaborative efforts, I have successfully secured the release of four family members implicated in the illegal activity. However, our commitment to upholding the law remains unwavering, and endeavors continue for fair judgment and potential pardon for the remaining four individuals.

Moreover, the underlying issue highlighted by this discovery remains of paramount importance. We must seize the opportunity to redirect the talents demonstrated by those involved towards lawful and productive endeavors. The young man in the family, known for his passion and ability to build drones, exemplifies this potential. His skills should be harnessed and put to good use.

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The Industrial Revolution serves as a pertinent historical precedent, where individual efforts catalyzed transformative change, made possible by governments that created conducive environments. We can emulate this model here. We can provide support and opportunities for talented individuals like the young drone builder, and stimulate a new wave of innovation and economic growth in Nigeria.

As previously stated, Nigeria’s economy faces significant challenges exacerbated by escalating imports, particularly in the realm of arms and weaponry. Therefore, it is imperative that we harness our indigenous talents for the greater good and bolster our local industries.

The Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), as well as the Ministry of Science and Technology have crucial roles to play in this regard. By engaging with individuals possessing such skills, we can offer them legal avenues for their expertise to flourish. The aim is not only to prevent the proliferation of illegal arms or other weapons manufacturing but also to channel these talents towards legitimate industries for national development.

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I reiterate the need for government to support and integrate such offenders with specialized skills and talents into the formal economy. This initiative should focus on recognizing their capabilities and providing opportunities for them to contribute to the development of our local indigenous technology. As noted earlier, an individual capable of modifying an AK-47 magazine, originally designed to hold 30 rounds, to accommodate 60 rounds using rudimentary equipment, holds immense potential for greater achievements with proper legal support and access to adequate resources.

Personally, I am committed to proposing or supporting a new law aimed at assisting talented and skillful individuals involved in illegal activities and also partner with law enforcement agencies in these endeavors. They have the intelligence and insights of the potential beneficiaries of this “amnesty” drive towards creating a new cadre of indigenous technologists. This law would establish an agency dedicated to providing government support and resources to rehabilitate and engage these individuals in legal and productive activities.

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I tentatively suggest naming this proposed law the “National Talent Rehabilitation and Integration Act.” This legislation would not only focus on rehabilitation but also on harnessing the skills and talents of offenders for the benefit of society. By providing a structured environment and necessary support, this agency would facilitate the transition of individuals from illicit activities to lawful and productive ventures, contributing to both their personal rehabilitation and national development.

– Senator Prince Ned Nwoko, Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District at the National Assembly.


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