FG warns that small arms are becoming weapons of mass destruction



According to the Federal Government, small arms are gradually becoming weapons of mass destruction because their proliferation has caused enormous harm to communities and individuals, particularly women and children.


Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, stated this in Abuja yesterday during a two-day multilateral meeting with stakeholders from the Lake Chad Basin region.

The meeting was organized by the National Centre for the Control of SALW, Office of the National Security Adviser, with the theme “Cubing Proliferation of SALW in the Lake Chad Basin Region.” The meeting was attended by representatives from the three other countries in the Lake Chad Basin Region: Cameroon, Niger, and Chad.



“The proliferation of small arms in the Lake Chad Basin is a major security concern with far-reaching consequences for the region,” Mustapha said.


“It has contributed to the escalation of conflict and violence, as well as hampered the region’s economic and social development.”


“As a result, it is critical that we collaborate to reduce the proliferation of small arms in the Lake Chad Basin region,” he said. (NAN)


He stated that countries in the Lake Chad Basin region should create a long-term network and synergy to combat the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in the region.


“If we are to put an end to the senseless and mindless violence of Boko Haram and other regional violence mongers,” he said.


He emphasized the importance of cooperating to implement existing international and regional agreements on small arms control, as well as to promote the development and implementation of new ones.


“We must also engage in dialogue and cooperation in order to raise public awareness and mobilize resources for small arms control initiatives,” he added.


Babagana Mongonu, the National Security Adviser, expressed concern about the devastation caused by the illicit circulation of small arms and light weapons.


He claims that the proliferation of these weapons exacerbates conflicts, escalates violence, and undermines peace and security in the Lake Chad region.


“We must act decisively to address this threat and protect our citizens’ lives and livelihoods.”


“This meeting allows us to collaborate, share experiences, and strategize to reduce the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.”


He stated that Nigeria was fully committed to contributing to efforts to combat SALW proliferation in the region.


Nigeria, according to Mongonu, has taken steps to strengthen its national firearms control regime, including the establishment of a National Centre for the Control of SALW and the signing of the ECOWAS Convention on SALW.


“However, we recognize that this is not a problem that can be solved by any single country.”


“As a region, we must work together to address the root causes of this problem, which include poverty, underdevelopment, and poor governance.”


“We must also strengthen our border control measures to prevent the unauthorized movement of small arms and light weapons across our borders.”


“Let us take advantage of this opportunity to forge strong alliances and devise practical solutions that will make a real difference in the lives of our citizens,” he said.


Retired Maj.-Gen Abba Mohammed, National Coordinator, National Centre for the Control of SALW, lamented the impact of SALW proliferation in the region.


According to him, the region’s prevalent insecurity has resulted in the loss of countless lives, the displacement of communities, and the region’s socioeconomic development.


“It is incumbent upon us to take drastic measures to find long-term solutions that will aid in the reduction and eradication of SALW proliferation,” he said.


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