NCCSALW Engages CSOs on Gun Free Nigeria

Following the spread of gun violence across the country, the National Center for Small Arms and Light Weapons Control (NCCSALW) discussed with civil society organizations (CSOs) the need to curb the circulation of arms light and small caliber.

National Security Advisor Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd) in his remarks during a one-day strategic engagement with civil society organizations organized by the National Center for the Control of Small Arms and Small Arms on the theme “Harnessing the Capacity of Civil Society towards Promoting an Illicit Arms Free Society in Nigeria”, lamented that despite efforts, the global community was losing the war against transnational organized crimes, terrorist groups and trafficking in small arms and light weapons (SALW).

Monguno, who was represented by his Special Assistant for Special Tasks, Ambassador Ahmed Mohammed, said illicit small arms and light weapons continued to undermine world peace and significantly hamper development.

“Despite our best efforts, it has become clear that West Africa, and indeed the global community, are losing the war to transnational organized crime networks, terrorist groups, domestic criminal elements and arms manufacturers who, for various motives, choose to act outside the norms and precepts of all existing national laws and international protocols and conventions as they continue to maintain the security space awash with SALW illicit.

“We must not allow this to continue. I am particularly delighted that the Center has set up the zone offices which, without a doubt, will bring our national effort closer to the people.

“We are gathered here today as partners, driven by a common vision for peace and security in Nigeria and the region. We have come together because the impact of the unbridled proliferation of SALW in Nigeria is of grave concern to every citizen or organization represented here,” the NSA said.

He said that the proliferation of SALW in many parts of the world and particularly in West Africa, is a matter of grave concern for countries and regional organizations.

“It has become a major source of insecurity in our society as it fuels violent conflict, crime and terrorism.

“Nevertheless, although the threat and use of SALW has been directly responsible for much of the untold human suffering in our society, it is important to emphasize that these weapons themselves do not cause conflict. Rather, it is their easy access and simplicity of use that makes violence more deadly and conflicts longer,” he added.

The National Security Adviser said small arms and light weapons have become the weapons of choice for criminals, terrorists and bandits in Nigeria and beyond, posing a significant challenge to the country, especially following insecurity that has recently engulfed the Sahel region.

“Hence the need to stop the proliferation of these deadly weapons,” he said.

He added that it was in the context of arms proliferation and its consequences that President Muhammadu Buhari authorized the establishment of the National SALW Control Center “to serve as an institutional platform to stem the proliferation of small arms under the various international protocols and instruments to which Nigeria is committed.Through this action, the President has further demonstrated Nigeria’s commitment to the provisions of Article 24 of the ECOWAS Convention on SALW which requires that each Member State establish national institutions to promote a multilateral approach to eradicate the illicit arms trade in the sub-region.

“Efforts to eradicate illicit weapons from around the world have been one that has involved all stakeholders, including the international and regional community, nations, states and, most importantly, civil society.”

Earlier in his welcoming remarks, the National Coordinator of NCCSALW, Major General Abba Mohammed Dikko (rtd) said that the Center had made giant strides in the short period of time to achieve full operationalization.

He reiterated that the proliferation of SALW has had a negative impact on Nigeria’s peace, security and socio-economic well-being, adding that it has remained a key driver of terrorism, ethno-religious conflicts, separatism violence and various organized criminal activities within and across the country’s borders. .

He said Nigeria has borne the brunt of instability in the Sahel region caused by the push-and-pull effect of arms trafficking.

“Therefore, Nigeria has closed ranks with its neighbours, ECOWAS and other international stakeholders over the years to eradicate illicit SALW in the hands of unauthorized persons or at least halt its proliferation. Even though progress in this area has remained a matter of debate, Nigeria has continued to meet the challenge head-on,” he said.

The Coordinator said that the Center has since its inception been focused on fulfilling its primary function of providing a strategic platform for arms control in Nigeria through close partnership with stakeholders, in particular CSOs, both locally and internationally.

About Thomas Brown

Check Also

Exit polls: What voters think as America heads to the polls

CNN — Read below for an analysis of CNN’s 2022 preliminary national exit polls. According …