Security experts on Monday faulted the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the establishment of the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons.
The Head, Strategic Communication, Office of the National Security Adviser, Z. M. Usman, had announced Buhari’s decision to set up the centre in a statement titled ‘Federal Government of Nigeria establishes National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, appoints Retired Major General A. M. Dikko as pioneer coordinator.’
But security experts, who faulted the government’s decision in separate interviews with The PUNCH agreed that the creation of a new centre was needless.
A former Director of the Department of State Services, Mike Ejiofor; a member of the International Security Association, Switzerland, Jackson Ojo; and the Director, Agent-X Security Limited, Timothy Avele, criticised to the establishment of the new agency.
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Ejiofor specifically recalled that a committee was earlier established to address issues relating to small arms and light weapons.
He said, “The establishment of the centre is not necessary. There is an existing Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons which has been declared as defunct.”
Ojo also said establishing a new centre was not the country’s immediate need.
He said, “Setting up a centre is not the immediate thing we need now. Small arms, medium arms and large arms are all over the country. It is everywhere. Who are those people that are going to be part of that committee? Are they bringing people from Israel, US, UK? Are they not within Nigeria here?”
Avele, on his part, said the centre would fail if it was not backed by short and long intelligence operations, adding that the illegal weapons market was well organised and operated by dangerous cartels.