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Senate summons service chiefs over arms proliferation

Bukola Saraki, Senate President

By Naomi Sharang

The Senate on Tuesday summoned all Service Chiefs for explanation over proliferation of firearms in the country.
The upper chamber also mandated its Committee on Intelligence and National Security to conduct thorough investigation into the development to unravel its remote and immediate causes.
The resolutions were sequel to a motion on “Proliferation of Dangerous Firearms in Nigeria’’ by Sen. Suleiman Hunkuyi (APC-Kaduna) at plenary.
Hunkuyi said that tribal, communal, religious and other sectarian clashes, including farmers/herdsmen crises were now more devastating.
“This is due to wrongful and easy acquisition of firearms in violation of due process as laid down by the enabling laws and regulations.
“This ugly trend has contributed to the colossal loss of lives and wanton destruction of property of Nigerian citizens.”
He explained that the situation was attributable to inability to control the proliferation of firearms within the country.
“The spate of unrest due to proliferation of firearms has negatively impacted on economic and agricultural activities to the extent that due to fear of attacks, law-abiding citizens fear going to the market and farms.”
In his contribution, Sen. Shehu Sani (APC-Kaduna) said the rate and frequency at which people were being killed in the country was evidence that there were more firearms than there were tractors.
“The political class are complicit in the proliferation of firearms in Nigeria,” he said, adding that stakeholders must move fast “to rescue the drift”.
Sani called for a new national political orientation where people should not see politics as a do-or-die affair, but should see it as an opportunity to serve the people.
On his part, the Leader of the Senate, Sen. Ahmad Lawan, said “the country is bedevilled by so much insecurity.”
He said that proliferation of illegal firearms was the major reason why there were many killings in the country.
The leader called on the service chiefs to find lasting solution to the issue.
In his remarks, President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said that the issue of security in the country was number one concern of all Nigerians.
He decried the rate of killings and the inadequate and poor response by security agencies to address the menace, and calling for concerted effort to check the trend.
“People are now going about with weapons as if they are accessories,” Saraki said.

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