Politics

Insecurity: Reps seek review of arms’ control

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The House of Representatives has resolved to engage the Federal Government to review the purchase, use and control of arms by the military and other security agencies. PHILIP NYAM examines the resolution

 

Since the problem of insurgency emanated in the country, one of the biggest problems associated with the fight against the menace is the issue of arms purchase.

 

The administration of President Goodluck Jonathan had a lot of challenges regarding the purchase of arms and ammunitions. At some point, a private jet conveying huge sums of money for the purchase of arms was arrested and detained in South Africa.

 

Apart from that some top ranking officials of the Jonathan government are still standing trial over allegations of misuse and misappropriation of funds meant for arms purchase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The present administration has not been spared the controversial issue of arms purchase as despite funds appropriated and released for the purchase of arms and ammunitions, complaints of inadequate equipment rent the air every now and then. Similarly, the proliferation of small arms and ammunition has been a huge issue not just in the country but the West African sub region.

 

In fact, there is a presidential task force on the control of small arms and ammunition as Illegal importation and smuggling of arms through the nation’s porous borders has been a matter of concern to the government. In fact, the seeming intractable insecurity in the North-East and North-West geopolitical zones of the country has severely been linked to the number and quality of illegal arms in the hands of bandits, killer herdsmen, terrorists and other criminal elements. There are also reports of some military and security personnel allegedly selling arms to insurgents and criminals. It was in response to this myriad security challenges that the House of Representatives in December  2020, adopted a motion titled “Need to review the purchase, use and control of arms, ammunition, and related hardware by military, paramilitary and other law enforcement agencies in Nigeria.” The motion was jointly sponsored by Hon. Ibrahim Almustapha Aliyu (APC, Sokoto) and Hon. Olaide Akinremi (APC, Oyo).

 

In adopting the motion, the House urged the Federal Government to review the policies, protocols, and procedures for the purchase of arms, ammunition and related hardware by the Nigeria Army, Navy and Air Force as well as Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Nigeria Correctional Services (NCS) in the last 10 years.

 

It also urged the Federal Government to review the guidelines and systems for training of officers of the Nigeria Army, Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigeria Correctional Services (NCS) in the last 10 years.

 

The green chamber further urged the federal government to appraise the armoury and weapons control mechanisms currently being imple-mented by the Nigeria Army, Navy and Air Force, Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Nigeria Correctional Services (NCS) in the last ten years.

 

Finally, the House resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the quality and quantity of arms purchased by the Nigeria Army, Navy and Air force, Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service and Nigeria Correctional Services in the last 10 years and report back within eight weeks for further legislative action.

 

Leading debate on the motion, which was seconded by Hon. Samson Okwu (PDP, Benue), Hon. Ibrahim Almustapha Aliyu noted that there has been an increase in the deployment of officers of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Immigration Services, Nigeria Customs Service and Nigerian Correctional Service to perform internal security functions, often at variance with their core competence, training and mandate.

 

He also observed that with the increase in the number of armed deployments in response to the multifaceted internal security challenges across the country, there has

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