By Mohammed Baba Busu
July 5, 2023
The National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW), says it will continue to work diligently with all arms-bearing security agencies, relevant Ministries Departments and international partners to stem the tide of illegal arms proliferation.
Maj.-Gen. Hamza Ibrahim-Bature, Zonal Coordinator, North Central office of the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW), disclosed this at a news conference in Minna on Wednesday.
Ibrahim-Bature noted that NCCSALW had acknowledged the overwhelming challenges posed by the proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons (SALW) in Nigeria.
“As the legally recognized government institution charged with the responsibility to stem the proliferation of illicit SALW, we remain committed to promoting an illicit arms-free society.
“Regrettably, it has been observed that unauthorised outfits have sprung-up; deceitfully presenting themselves as the focal organizations for the control of illicit small arms and light weapons, creating false impressions of legitimacy and authority.
“These unauthorised bodies risk exacerbating the security issues they purport to address, adding unnecessarily, to the complex task of SALW control.
“Their activities potentially result in confusion and lack of credibility leading to administrative and legal disputes which may hinder the NCCSALW to effectively carry-out its mandate,” the statement said.
The zonal coordinator also said that the activities of unauthorized outfits would complicate their efforts to control the proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons, potentially leading to ineffective implementation of policies and strategies.
“The potential for reputational harm to the NCCSALW is further heightened, given the controversy and public disagreement surrounding these unauthorized outfits.
” Even though NCCSALW operates legally, the confusion might cast a shadow over its work and thus entrenching trust deficit with stakeholders.
” It is pertinent to remind all stakeholders of the enormity of this mandate and the necessity of operating within legal boundaries,”he added.
The NCCSALW remains the only government-sanctioned body charged with the responsibility to checkmate the proliferation of illicit SALW in Nigeria and it is crucial to note that any infringement on the duties of the centre will attract legal sanctions.
He said that NCCSALW would remain commitment to the mandate and mission of promoting peace and security in the nation.
He called for the support of all Nigerans, the media, and other stakeholders in achieving its mission, adding that together, a safer Nigeria can be built.
“The media, as an important partner in the dissemination of accurate information, bears a particular responsibility.
“In this regard. It is encouraged to exercise due diligence and uphold the highest standards of journalistic ethics to prevent the projection of unlawful organizations,” he said.