President Muhammadu Buhari’s adviser on the Niger Delta, has called for the inclusion of Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta States in a subregional programme to mop up small arms and light weapons.
Paul Boroh who is also the Coordinator of Nigeria’s Amnesty Programme, disclosed that a multilateral project on small arms, implemented in six West African countries has now adopted seven states in Nigeria.
Sifon Essien reports that the proliferation of small arms and light weapons poses a global challenge with grave implications.
Research has shown that firearms account for about 46 percent of all violent deaths.
Yet 8 million new weapons are manufactured yearly by at least 1, 249 companies in 92 countries.
Worse still, 60 percent of the firearms are in the hands of civilians.
The violence encouraged by the proliferation of the weapons informed the establishment in 2013 of a West Africa-wide project aimed at mopping up arms and light weapons.
The project is running in 6 countries namely Niger , Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinée, Liberia and Sierra Leone. And now, Nigeria has been adopted into the project.
The project is to be implemented in Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara in the North West. Akwa Ibom and Cross River, in the south south will also benefit from the project.
But the Adviser to Nigeria’s President on the Niger Delta who is also the coordinator of the Amnesty Programme to Niger Delta militants wants more states to be included in the project.
In mopping up the arms, the project intends to empower those who voluntarily give up their arms.