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Over 3,000 small arms recovered in 18 months: Commission

The National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) says it has recovered over 3,000 illegal arms across the country in the last 18 months.

Retired Maj.-Gen. Abba Dikko, the national coordinator of the centre, disclosed this on Wednesday in Kaduna.

“Since the take-off of the centre in May 2021, tremendous achievements have been recorded and landmark progress made, and within the period under review, over 3000 arms were recovered,” Mr Dikko said.

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He said that the 3,000 arms would be destroyed in Kaduna on Thursday, adding that the recovery of the arms from various theatres of operations was a remarkable achievement in regulating the spread of illicit firearms.

The coordinator reiterated the determination of the centre to ensure that only authorised persons possess firearms in the country.

He said the illegal acquisition of firearms had contributed immensely to the security challenges in Nigeria.

“We are at the moment, under the guidance of the National Security Adviser, before the bill for our establishment is passed into law to fulfil the mandate of the ECOWAS Charter of 2006, which Nigeria was a signatory nation.

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“It mandated member states to establish a commission to regulate, acquisition, use and disposal of small and light weapons.

“It is only Nigeria and Ghana where the commission is yet to be given legal teeth to carry out its function as required,” he said.

Mr Dikko said the centre had decentralised its activities to enhance its effectiveness.

“For effective administration, we have centres across the six geopolitical zones where our activities are coordinated to ensure the mopping up of illicit weapons from the society.

“You can attest that our efforts are yielding results, considering the volume of arms recovered in the past 18 months from South-South, South-East, North-Central and North-West geopolitical zones of this country,” he added.

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The coordinator said useful metals from the destroyed arms would be given to appropriate government authorities for other valuable purposes.

Mr Dikko assured that confiscating illegal arms would be a sustained exercise to ensure lasting peace in Nigeria.

(NAN)

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