NYCN Investigates Passage Of Bill For Establishment Of National Commission For Small Arms
The Northern Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has called for the hasty passage of the bill regarding the establishment of the National Commission against the usage of Small Arms and Light Weapons.
A communique made available to source yesterday in Abuja, jointly signed the president, NYCN, Mr Isah Abubakar and its director programs, Engr Labaran Abubakar, said after an extraordinary deliberation the council identified the proliferation of small arms as one of the main causes of insecurity and killings in the country.
The council noted that the bill which seeks to empower the commission to coordinate and implement activities to combat the problems of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria is in line with ECOWAS states convention on small arms and light weapons.
Recall that the bill which was read for the first time in this Senate on 18 December, 2019 passed second reading on Wednesday 19 February, 2020.
The sponsor of the bill, Smart Adeyemi (APC, Kogi), highlighted the objectives of the bill which include, “(to) identify sources and main routes of small arms, ammunition and light weapon; identify why illicit trade thrives in Nigeria; liaise with the relevant authorities, agencies and organisations with the aim of tackling the menace.”
The communique reads in part: “Nigeria has been besieged by the outbreak of violent conflicts which has over the years claimed thousands of lives and property.
“This is owing to the activities of kidnappers, armed robbers, sea pirates, political thugs, arms traffickers and most importantly, the extremist group Boko Haram.
“All these armed activities continue unabated, partly because of unchecked arms proliferation in the country. These groups use both locally manufactured and imported devices to inflict havoc on the society.
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“Their growing expertise in the use of explosives and other devices contributes to increased violent acts against the citizens and the state. Increasingly, these armed groups have acquired a high level of sophistication in the production and use of these weapons in their operations.”
Quoting figures from the Nigerian Army, the council said: “It is estimated that 70 per cent of over 10 million illegal weapons in circulation in West Africa are in Nigeria.”
The communique added that although Nigeria’s legal system does not encourage possession of firearms by persons other than security operatives and individuals licensed by the police authority, there have been cases of illegal possession of arms in the country.