By Anayo Onukwugha, Port Harcourt
A non-governmental organization, Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment (LITE-Africa), has decried the continued influx of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria.
It partly blamed the influx on arms, which were being used by terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements to terrorise the society, on poor border management and security at Nigerian borders.
Executive director of LITE-Africa, Joel Bisina, in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP in Port Harcourt, said the
proliferation of small arms and light weapons continues to have devastating effects on socio-economic situation in Nigeria and the West Africa sub region.
Bisina said: “The wide availability, stockpile and illicit flows of such weapons tend to escalate conflicts, undermine peace agreements, intensify violence and impact on crime, impede economic and social development, increase poverty, hinder the development of social stability, democracy and good governance.”
He stated that the organization, in collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the European Union (EU) recently organised a training on security and border management in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital.
The LITE-Africa boss explained that the training was part of an integrated project designed by the organization its partners aimed at supporting the mandate of ECOWAS to address the peace and security challenges of West Africa.
Bisina said: “The training was designed to equip the security operatives with modern methods and strategies of border Management (air, land an sea) as well as strategies of collaborative policing, intelligence/information gathering and sharing.
“This training will enable security officers to manage more effectively and efficiently the borders where they work and stem the flow of small arms and light weapons.”