Stakeholders Support Legislative Backing For NATFORCE

Stakeholders Support Legislative Backing For NATFORCE

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By Bashir Bello

A bill for an act to provide for the establishment of the National Centre for the Coordination and Control of the Proliferation of Small and Light Weapons in Nigeria is being proposed by the Senate.

This followed presentation of memoranda at a one-day public hearing of the Senate committtee on National Security and intelligence held in Abuja.

Meanwhile, the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the Nigeria Customs Service however differed on the proposed legislation.

Declaring the session open, the Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan linked challenges associated with small and light weapons to crises in the Sahel.

Lawan, who spoke through Senate Deputy minority leader, Senator Shuaibu Lau stressed that the proliferation of weapons has triggered dangerous act of terrorism, adding “we are bound to reflect through relevant institutions”.

Consequently, Lawan noted this has precipitated the gathering of stakeholders on National Security and intelligence.

He noted that the essence of the Institutions is to control the menace of terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry among others.

The Director Legal services of the National Centre for the control of small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW), Chioma Onuegbu reiterated that proliferation of weapons pose a threat to peace and security.

She added that there was no better time to pass the bill than now.

Dr. Yakubu Dadu, head of ECOWAS National office at the ministry of Foreign Affairs, said “we are in support of the bill”.

According to him, the bill is link to ECOWAS convention, pointing out that it is only Nigeria that has not establish centre to curb proliferation of small and light weapons in the sub region.

“ECOWAS is looking up to Nigeria, we have suffered from consequences of small and light arms proliferation”.

Also speaking, the Director General of Coalition of Nigeria Youths, Ambassador Ade Emmanuel supported the bill, however emphasised that politics should be avoided during the consideration of the bill.

In a separate submission, the Director General of National Taskforce Prohibition of Illegal, Importation/Smuggling of Arms, Ammunition, Light Weapons, Chemical Weapons and Pipeline Vandalism, Dr. Baba Mohammed backed the establishment of the commission.

Responding, the Chairman Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Senator Ibrahim Gobir noted that the committee will do all the needful

“We will come out with a decision that every Nigerian will be happy.

“We have to make it possible so that Insecurity becomes a thing of the past in Nigeria” he added.