Senator Adamu Aliero representing Kebbi Central Senatorial district, Wednesday blamed the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, for the proliferation of small arms into the country.
The lawmaker even accused the NCS of conniving with arms dealers to smuggle in small arms through the borders.
In his words, “Men of the Nigerian Customs Service is conniving with arms dealers to smuggle in small arms into the country through the borders”.
This development followed the debate on the bill seeking to establish the National Commission against the proliferation of small arms and light weapons sponsored by Senator Smart Adeyemi representing Kogi West.
Slim Xclusive learnt that the bill seeks to identifying sources and routes of small arms and ammunitions, identifying those involved in the illicit trade and, providing harmonization of intelligence and information collection.
Adeyemi in his debate affirmed that the proliferation of small arms and weapons was the factor threatening peace, development and national security of Nigeria and other African countries.
The Senator, however, noted that the local causes of conflicts are numerous but illegal arms and weapons have promoted terror and deepened internal tensions, violence and conflicts.
In his words, “the proliferation of these weapons affects the intensity and duration of violence and encourages militancy rather than a peaceful resolution of unsettled differences.”
“In Nigeria, this has become a serious security challenge. There is general insecurity as most parts of the country experience high-level crimes perpetrated the use of illicit arms.
“A substantial percentage of illegal arms that is in circulation in West Africa are in Nigeria.
“This has fueled violent conflicts as witnessed in the Niger Delta, kidnapping in the South East, Armed robbery pandemic in the South West, Ethnic-Religious violence on the Plateau, and the Boko Haram operations in the North-East, a situation which has plunged the nation into serious state of insecurity.
“Electoral violence by gun-wielding thugs and assassinations of several political leaders since 1999, have jeopardized free and fair elections in many states of the federation.
“There are numerous ways by which small arms can be smuggled into the country because of their light-weight and concealable nature.
“Trucks have been used to smuggle arms into the country, while a number of them are brought in on donkeys, camels and on foot.
“Similarly, Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) are transported through waterways, boat to add of arms from great lake’s conflict areas have been reported to have been discharged at Warri and Bonny towns of Niger Delta.
“Also, Small Arms Survey (SAS) has reported on Malian arms smugglers packing small arms in waterproof sacks, attaching them into the bottom of bots for transfer to countries along the River Niger.
“The effects of illegal arms and weapons of terror in Nigeria are self-explanatory an calls for concerted effort by all and sundry to successfully prosecute this war against terror. The support, collaboration, and involvement of all genuine stakeholders is a condition precedent to winning the war.”