The Senate has considered a bill seeking to establish the National Commission against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons. The sponsor of the bill, Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC– Kogi West), speaking during plenary on Wednesday noted that the functions of the Commission when established will include: identifying sources and routes of small arms and ammunitions, identifying those involved in the illicit trade; and providing harmonisation of intelligence and information collection.
According to Adeyemi, the proliferation of small arms and weapons is a phenomenon responsible for destabilising peace and development and threatening the national security of some countries 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 said.
Citing a United Nations report, Adeyemi also raised concerns that “a substantial percentage of illegal arms that is in circulation in West Africa is 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 a serious state of insecurity,” the lawmaker added.