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3000 illicit weapons seized across Nigeria in 18 months, says arms control centre

3000 illicit weapons seized across Nigeria in 18 months, says arms control centre
November 24
09:05 2022

The National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) says it recovered over 3,000 illegal arms in the last 18 months.

Abba Dikko, the national coordinator of the centre, spoke on Wednesday in Kaduna.

Dikko said the recovery was part of ongoing efforts to stop the proliferation of illicit firearms in the country.

He said the recovered arms would be destroyed in Kaduna on Thursday while reiterating the determination of the centre in ensuring that only authorised persons possess firearms in the country.

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He said the illegal acquisition of firearms has contributed immensely to the security challenges in Nigeria.

“Since the take-off of the centre in May 2021, tremendous achievements have been recorded and landmark progress made and within the period under review over 3000 arms were recovered,” Dikko said.

“We are at the moment under the guidance of the national security adviser before the bill for our establishment is passed into law to fulfil the mandate of the ECOWAS charter of 2006, which Nigeria was a signatory nation.

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“It mandated member states to establish a commission to regulate acquisition, use and disposal of small and light weapons.

“It is only Nigeria and Ghana where the commission is yet to be given legal teeth to carry out its function as required.”

Dikko said the centre has decentralised its activities to enhance its effectiveness.

“For effective administration, we have centres across the six geopolitical zones where our activities are coordinated of ensuring the mopping up of illicit weapons from the society,” he added.

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“You can attest that our efforts are yielding results, considering the volume of arms recovered in the past 18 months from south-south, south-east, north-central and north-west geopolitical zones of this country.”

The coordinator said useful metals from the destroyed arms would be given to appropriate government authorities for other purposes.

Dikko assured that the confiscation of illegal arms would be a sustained exercise to ensure lasting peace in Nigeria.

“It is a collective responsibility and efforts must be sustained, especially by members of the media, in this fight against the spread of small arms and light weapons in our society,” he said.

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“The destruction of this over 3000 firearms would be a continuous occurrence until all nooks and crannies of this beautiful country are certified free of illicit small and light weapons.”

Dikko added that local manufacturers of light weapons would be identified and mainstreamed into the military industrial corporation.

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