Defence & Security

Army says proliferation of small arms, light weapons declining

By Paul Michael

Proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria is reducing.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt – Gen Farouk Yahaya, stated this at a media parley in Owerri. It was as part of activities marking the 2022 Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL). He restated the resolve of the Force to checkmate the proliferation of small arms and light weapons across the country.

NADCEL is an annual event held by the military. This year’s celebration marks the 159th year of the Nigerian Army’s existence since its formation. The week-long event offers the Nigerian Army an opportunity to take stock, assess its performance, interface with the public, and set goals for the succeeding year.

The COAS, who expressed worry over the possession of arms by non-state actors and non-licensed individuals, said that the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light weapons was working assiduously to checkmate the menace.

Yahaya warned financiers of the arms and weapons to desist forthwith or be ready to contend with the Army, as the Force would “leave no stone unturned in fishing them out.”

He also called for concerted efforts by Nigerians to report suspected unlawful possession of firearms to the appropriate quarters.

According to him, “The National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light weapons is working tirelessly to stem this tide and we are achieving positive results.

“As our border troops continue to restrategise and stay many steps ahead of the culprits, we warn all financiers of these light weapons to desist forthwith or have the law to contend with.

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“It’s quite a challenge but we’re facing it head-on,” he said.

Yahaya listed some of the achievements of the Nigerian Army in the last one year to include the return of Nigerians in the North-East to their homes, mass surrender of terrorists and reopening of all schools in the geo-political zone, including the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok.

Other achievements according to him include foiling of kidnap plots and other forms of criminal arrangements as well as improvement of the welfare and well-being of troops.

The Army boss thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for providing sufficient logistics and other forms of support that had enabled the Force to record tremendous successes in its operations.

He assured Nigerians that the troops would always stick to the professional rules of engagement and respect for human rights, in line with the core values of the Nigerian Army.

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