Easy Access To Arms: Senate Summons Service Chiefs
Guns fly around in Nigeria and it is becoming very worrisome. Even the Senate President says it is now appears like an accessory.
Benue, Taraba, Kaduna, Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, and some other states in central Nigeria have, of late, felt the burden of smoking guns of persons President Muhammadu Buhari said were foreigners.
More and more communities are getting attacked on a daily basis and the easy access to arms has been identified as a fuel to the crisis.
The general elections is just less than 290 days to go and this proliferation of fire arms is not a good one.
It has become a topic of discussion again at the Senate plenary and the lawmakers want Service Chiefs in Nigeria to appear before them.
They must be an explanation to the situation and a solution that works.
"Time is not on our side and we also observe that we have elections coming up and the level of desperation from some people will definitely increase," the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, stressed on Tuesday after the issue was raised by Senator motion in a motion entitled “Proliferation of Dangerous Firearms in Nigeria’’.
He says the inadequate and poor response by security agencies to address the menace was a contributory factor.
Dr. Saraki then called for concerted effort to check the trend.
“People are now going about with weapons as if they are accessories,” Saraki added.
After deliberations on the issue, the Senate said it was necessary to invite the Service Chiefs for explanation over the proliferation of firearms in the country.
Another resolution reached on the issue was for the upper chamber's Committee on Intelligence and National Security to conduct thorough investigation into the development to unravel its remote and immediate causes.
While raising the issues, Senator Hunkuyi said 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 said.
According to him, the situation was attributable to an inability to control the proliferation of firearms within 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, Senator Shehu Sani said the rate and frequency at which Nigerians were being killed was evident 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”.