From Molly Kilete, Abuja

 

The National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSLW), has solicited the support of the Nigerian Army in its operations to curb the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the country.

The center has also solicited the support of the army to deploy more personnel to the center to boost its operations in moping up illegal arms.

National Coordinator of NCCSLW, Deputy Inspector General of Police(DIG), Johnson Babatunde Kokumo (rtd), who made the call when he visited the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant-General Taoreed Lagbaja at the Army Headquarters in Abuja, commended the Nigerian Army for providing armories in virtually all its formations and units to store seized weapons.

Kokumo, who said he was at the Army Headquarters to thank the Chief of Army Staff for the assistance the Nigerian Army has been rendering to his organization, said the NCCSW, cannot fight the menace of small arms and light weapons alone, said “we need to collaborate with the arms bearing agencies of the federal government to be able to do our work”.

He alerted the Nigerian army of the activities of NATFORCE and NATCOM, an illegal organizations claiming to be agencies of government on arms control and engaging in illegal activities. He told the army chief not to have anything to do with the organizations, just as he noted that one of the leaders have been arrested, taken to court and presently been remanded at the Kuje prison in Abuja.

“There are many others coming up. The head of the NATFORCE has been arrested and presently in Kuje prison.

“I’m bringing this to your notice because when you see some of them coming before you, you will know they are fake”.

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The coordinator, while attributing the successes recorded at the center to the Nigerian Army, said

“I want to thank the Nigerian Army for the quality of personnel they have sent to the centre. My percedessor, Major General Dikko did wonderfully well. He made sure that the legal framework was drafted and passed by the national assembly. The bill is before the president, and it is our prayers that the president assent to the bill.

“We also thank you for providing us with armories where we store seized weapons in Kaduna, Calabar, Enugu, Muhammadu Buhari Cantonment in Giri, Abuja, and other places.”

Welcoming the delegation to the army headquarters, Lieutenant General Lagbaja, while attributing the insecurity in the country to the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, pledged the support of the army to work with any agencies that strives to combat small arms proliferation.

He said: “Wish you success as you work assidiousioisly to rid the country of arms proliferation. The Nigerian Army has identify small arms as driver of insecurity. We are prepare to work with any agencies that strives to combat small arms and light weapons in the country.

He also assured the center that the Nigerian Army would ensure adequate control of arms in its possession, and also those that are recovered during operation to prevent them from going into wrong hands.

“Be rest assured that you have a dependable ally in the Nigerian Army to support you as you discharge your duties. Every Army formations across the country is ready to work with you to rid the country of small arms.”
On activities of NATFORCE and NATCOM, the COAS, promised to to dismantle illegal checkpoint mounted by the organizations, just as he said that the Nigerian army recognizes the NCCSLW as the only government approved agencies on the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the country.

The COAS said: “ The Nigerian Army recognizes the NCCSLW as the only government approved agencies to control small arms and light weapons proliferation in the country. We have sensitize all our formations and units not to grant audience member of any illegal organisation other than NCCSLW.

“We believe that the mop-up of small arms by NCCSLW will reduce insecurity and ensure economic development in the country,”.


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