A file picture of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, throughout plenary on the higher chamber of the Nationwide Meeting in Abuja.
The Senate has thought-about a invoice searching for to determine the Nationwide Fee Towards the Proliferation of Small Arms and Gentle Weapons.
The sponsor of the invoice, Senator Good Adeyemi (APC– Kogi West), famous throughout plenary on Wednesday that the features of the Fee when established will embrace: figuring out sources and routes of small arms and ammunitions, figuring out these concerned within the illicit commerce; and offering harmonisation of intelligence and data assortment.
Based on Adeyemi, the proliferation of small arms and weapons is a phenomenon accountable for destabilising peace and growth and threatening the nationwide safety of some international locations in Africa.
“The proliferation of these weapons affects the intensity and duration of violence and encourages militancy rather than a peaceful resolution of unsettled differences,” he mentioned.
Citing a United Nations report, Adeyemi additionally raised considerations that “a considerable share of unlawful arms that’s in circulation in West Africa is in Nigeria.
“This has fueled violent conflicts as witnessed within the Niger Delta, kidnapping within the South East, Armed theft pandemic within the South West, Ethnic-Non secular violence on the Plateau, and the Boko Haram operations within the North-East, a scenario which has plunged the nation right into a critical state of insecurity,” the lawmaker added.
Talking additional, he warned that the uncontrolled arms have additionally impacted on the nation’s democracy and growth negatively.
“Electoral violence by gun-wielding thugs and assassinations of several political leaders since 1999, have jeopardised free and fair elections in many states of the federation,” he mentioned.
“There are quite a few methods by which small arms might be smuggled into the nation due to their lightweight and concealable nature. Vans have been used to smuggle arms into the nation, whereas quite a lot of them are introduced in on donkeys, camels and on foot.
“Equally, Small Arms and Gentle Weapons (SALW) are transported via waterways, boat so as to add of arms from nice lake’s battle areas have been reported to have been discharged at Warri and Bonny cities of Niger Delta.
“Additionally, Small Arms Survey (SAS) has reported on Malian arms smugglers packing small arms in waterproof sacks, attaching them into the underside of bots for switch to international locations alongside the River Niger.
“The consequences of unlawful arms and weapons of terror in Nigeria are self-explanatory and requires concerted efforts by one and all to efficiently prosecute this struggle in opposition to terror. The help, collaboration and involvement of all real stakeholders is a situation precedent to profitable the struggle,” he added.
Senator Adamu Aliero whereas lending his voice in help of the passage of the invoice, accused males of the Nigerian Customs Service of conniving with arms sellers to smuggle in small arms into the nation via the borders.
He added that if the invoice is just not handed into legislation by the Nationwide Meeting, “violence will continue” unabated.
One other lawmaker, Emmanuel Bwacha in his contribution, cited america as a rustic with out robust gun management legal guidelines, including that “they are paying dearly for it today”.
“It is better to have control of arms than allow every dick and Harry to possess arms. In doing this, we must do it with genuine intention,” Bwacha suggested.
Contributing to the controversy, Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC– Nasarawa West), lamented that the proliferation of small arms has grow to be a thriving enterprise as a result of these concerned within the illicit commerce are usually not apprehended by the related safety companies.
The invoice which scaled second studying on the ground throughout plenary was referred by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to the Committee on Nationwide Safety and Intelligence, to report again in 4 weeks.