NSA gives reasons for proliferation of illicit arms – Veloxnews


From Sola Ojo, KadunaThe National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, said the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) remains a huge threat to Nigeria’s security.Monguno, who stated this yesterday during the symbolic destruction of over 3,000 illicit small and light weapons and ammunition and associated materials by the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) at the Nigerian Army Depot, Rigachikun, Kaduna, blamed the proliferation of small and light weapons in Africa on the failure of the global community.The symbolic destruction exercise marked the beginning of the destruction process expected to last for a few days in line with international best practices in terms of weapon destruction.Represented by the Director of Policy and Strategy, Office of NSA, Amb Aminu Lawal, Monguno said: “It has become a major source of vulnerability in our society and stands out as a key driver of violent conflict, crime and terrorism within and beyond our borders.“The failure of the global community to control the availability of illicit SALW, I dare say, has continued to undermine global peace and significantly hinder development, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.“We recognise the complexity of the challenge of controlling the proliferation of SALW in Nigeria and the requirement for concerted action between the government, international community and all well-meaning civil society organisations.“Nonetheless, we are resolved to galvanise our strengths and unity as a nation to confront this monstrous challenge and I am optimistic that we shall overcome it,” he said.He described the establishment of the NCCSALW in 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari as a historic step towards addressing the problem of small arms proliferation through an institutional platform that would structurally address all underlying contributors.“This action was also a demonstration of Nigeria’s commitment to the provisions of Article 24 of the ECOWAS Convention on SALW, which requires all member states to establish national commissions to promote a multilateral approach to stamping out the unregulated or uncontrolled circulation of SALW in the Sub-region,” he noted.He, however, implored the public to unite and work together to protect the country’s peace, political stability, socio-cultural harmony and fledgling democracy to help the government realise the vision of a safer Nigeria and to promote the socio-economic development of the country.Earlier, National Coordinator, NCCSALW, Major General Abbah Mohammed Dikko (retd), said the centre has, in the last one year, demonstrated its readiness to partner with all stakeholders through strategic engagements and round table meetings. He said the centre was aware of the growing prevalence of craft weapon production across the country, and the contributory role it has continued to play in escalating the menace of illicit arms proliferation.Consequently, he said: “Efforts have reached advanced stages to create a robust database of all gunsmiths and other related artisanal tradesmen in the country, with a view to establishing a regulatory regime for their activities or integrating them into the state weapon production architecture.”

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