Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Federal Government, has confirmed a United Nations (UN) report which indicated that 350 million (70 percent), out of 500 million illegal firearms and other light weapons in West Africa, are warehoused in Nigeria.
Some of these weapons, according to government , were either brought in by eormer Niger Delta agitators, Boko Haram insurgents or other politically sponsored activities, with the aid of officers manning Nigeria’s “porous” borders.
Possession of the firearms, it added, was the motivation behind increase in violence and other heinous crimes.
Minister of Interior, Abdulrahaman Dambazzau, who disclosed this, in Abuja, yesterday, at an emergency security meeting which comprised heads of the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Immigration Service and other relevant stakeholders, renewed government’s commitment to end arms proliferation.
He expressed concern that if these firearms are not mopped up and new ones intercepted at the country’s land, sea and water borders, activities that would herald the 2019 elections and other activities might be threatened by upsurge in armed violence.