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April 23, 2024
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Members of National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapon (NCCSALW) with some officials of joint border agencies in Seme

Centre sensitises joint border agencies on proliferation of illicit arms

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By Raji Rasak

The National Centre for Control of Small Arms and Large Weapons (NCCSALW) on Wednesday sensitised joint border agencies in Seme on the proliferation of illicit arms.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NCCSALW was established on May 3, 2021 under the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA).

NAN also reports that the centre is mandated to prevent and control the proliferation of small and large weapons in collaboration with stakeholders toward strengthening peace and security in Nigeria.

Speaking shortly after the meeting with all security agencies, Mr Sola Akinlade, the South West Zonal Coordinator, NCCSALW, said that the meeting was held in Seme because it is an international border connecting Nigeria to many countries.

According to him, what the agency is doing is to control the proliferation of illicit arms.

“The ones they are not manufacturing locally will have to come through the border, not necessarily by air but through the land borders because the border is so long and porous.

“Today, we have to come to talk with head of security agencies here to synergise with us for quick detection and reporting some of the arms passing through this corridor.

“So far, from what they have said, they have promised to synergise and direct their operatives on the need to be more vigilant at the border so that things will not cross or enter.

“They are the action agencies, they are the ones to do it, our own is to collect the data and do the needful, by destroying it, profiling it and keeping it safe and not getting back to the society,” he said.

Akinlade, a retired director in the Department of State Service, said the centre had received thousands of illicit arms from the military and police in 2023.

“I want to tell you that in the last one year, the military has given us thousands of illicit arms which were collected through the clearance operations.

‘The Inspector General of Police, recently, through all the Commissioners of Police have come with all guns that are not under investigation to the headquarter which was handed over to the national coordinator.

“Same with the Air Force, all the arms were gathered in Lagos and were taken to Abuja to be handed over, the same thing with the naval.

“We have been effectively working in the sense that whatever released to us can not get back to the society,” he said.

The zonal coordinator said that the visit was very important in view of the strategic location of Seme Border which is the official gateway to Nigerians in the south west.

“All security agencies are the critical stakeholders whom the centre looks up to for collaboration.

“The NCCSALVW is to work in synergy with all security agencies through intelligence sharing and also in operations that bothers on recovery of illicit firearms from groups or individuals that engage in criminality and local fabrication,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Timi Bomodi, the Controller of Seme Command Area of Nigeria Customs Service, said the issue of small arms and light weapon is critical to well-being of Nigerians.

Bomodi, who is the chairman, Joint Border Security Committee in Seme, said the committee was particularly concerned with not only enabling trade but also ensuring that they do all they can to secure well-being and safety of Nigerians.

“The critical area that needs to be addressed by the zonal coordinator is the proliferation of small arms and light weapon.

“We know that because of the very nature of this item, it is easy to conceal and apart from those that are manufactured locally, there are still few weapon that are getting to our community.

“This should be our major concern,” he said.

NAN reports that officials from Nigerian Navy, Army, Immigration Service, Port Health, Police and Department of State Service attended the sensitisation programme. (NAN)www.nannews.ng

Edited by Folasade Adeniran

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