By Sumaila Ogbaje
The National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) has solicited collaboration of the armed forces and police in its effort to combat illicit arms flow in Nigeria.
NCCSALW’s Coordinator, retired Maj.-Gen. Abba Dikko, made the call when he visited the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor at the Defence and Services Headquarters (DHQ).
This is contained in a statement issued by the centre’s Director, Strategic Communication and Information, Group Capt. Ewejide Akintunde, on Monday in Abuja.
Dikko said that the NCCSALW was established on May 3, following an Executive Order by President Mohammadu Buhari to serve as the institutional mechanism for policy guidance, research and monitoring of all aspects of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria.
According to him, the centre will be promoting policy actions through networking and advocacy in close collaboration with government agencies, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), security sector, institutions, development partners and international organisations.
The coordinator said that the centre had since hit the ground running and working assiduously in the execution of its assigned tasks.
Responding, Irabor said the establishment of NCCSALW was long overdue given the current state of insecurity in the nation.
He said that research and experiences had shown that the state of insecurity in the country was attributable to the illicit proliferation of arms.
The CDS commended the coordinator for the operationalisation of the centre, urging him not to relent in the effort to actualise the core functions of the centre.
According to him, ensuring significant reduction in illicit arms flow is a collective responsibility of all stakeholders.
Irabor pledged to support the centre’s objective of eradicating illicit arms in the country.
In a related development, the coordinator also visited the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Amao, and solicited for the support of the service in the actualslisation of the NCCSALW’s mission.
Dikko told the air chief that the centre was working to put in place a structure that would metamorphose into a National Commission.
Amao commended the centre for combatting the proliferation of arms in the country and urged it to remain resolute in achieving its mission.
According to him, intelligence sharing is key to the actualisation of the objectives of the centre.
Similarly, the NCCSALW coordinator visited the Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr Usman Alkali and called for the support of the police in preventing and combating illicit flow of arms into the country.
Dikko said that the effective functioning of the NCCSALW would depend on the support and cooperation of the Nigeria police.
He added that all activities of the centre would be hinged primarily on the existing capacity, processes and procedures enshrined in the duties and responsibilities of the police.
Responding, Alkali lauded the NCCSALW, adding that its creation was in the interest of peace, security and crime prevention and control.
Alkali assured the centre of the readiness of the police to share the art of crime control and mopping of illicit arms with the centre.
He also pledged to give full support to the centre in the areas of intelligence sharing, capacity development and use of instruments of the INTERPOL. (NAN)