President Muhammadu Buhari has in a bid to restructure the nation’s security architecture approved the establishment of a National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons.
The development which was contained in a communique released by the presidency on Monday, May 3, confirmed the appointment of Retired Major General AM Dikko as the National Coordinator of the centre.
It was revealed in the statement that the centre would be domiciled in the Office of the National Security Adviser. The presidency explained that the decision is part of the ongoing restructuring of Nigeria’s security architecture to address emerging threats and strengthen the regional mechanism for the control, prevention and regulation of SALW.
The statement reads further: “The NCCSALW replaces the defunct Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons and shall serve as the institutional mechanism for policy guidance, research and monitoring of all aspects of Small Arms and Light Weapons in Nigeria.
“The impact of the proliferation of SALW across national borders in Africa and the Sahel region has resulted in terrorism, human trafficking, organized crime, and insurrections in West Africa and Nigeria.
“Therefore, as one of the measures in tackling this threat, the new Centre will be fulfilling the requirements of the ECOWAS Moratorium on Import, Export, and Manufacture of Light Weapons as well as the UN Plan of Action to prevent, combat, and eradicate the illicit trade in SALW.
“The NCCSALW will serve as the National Focal Point on SALW in Nigeria and lead a multi-stakeholder process involving Government Ministries, Departments, Agencies and the Civil Society in implementing all national, UN and ECOWAS Plans of Action on the control of SALW.
The centre will maintain international cooperation and also operate zonal offices in the Six Geopolitical Zones to ensure quick response and effective mobilization of resources.
The pioneer National Coordinator, Rtd Major General AM Dikko has served in various capacities in and outside Nigeria. He was a Course Director at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre and Chief Instructor of the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre.
About Dikko, the statement revealed further that “he was also a Military Adviser, United Nation Office for West Africa, Director Peacekeeping Operations Defence Headquarters, Commander Operations LAST HOLD as well as Commander, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, to mention a few.
“The pioneer Coordinator has vast experience working with the ECOWAS and the UN system and is expected to operationalize the objectives of the NCCSALW,” it added.
Meanwhile, popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has declared that past administrations as well as the government of President Muhammadu Buhari have not handled the issue of bandits correctly.
Buhari stated on Monday that the bandits have not been engaged enough and that is why there has been a recent increase in their activities.