The Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons and the Challenges of National Security in Nigeria: A Case Study of Adamawa State
Asian Research Journal of Arts & Social Sciences,
The proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs) is a major national security challenge in Nigeria. The insecurity resulting from insurgency, banditry, militancy, kidnapping, armed robbery, ethno-religious and communal conflicts have become worrisome in Nigeria. All this, are perpetrated with small arms and light weapons, which are easily concealed and used to unleash violence in the society. There is hardly any week that passes by, without a report of one attack or the other somewhere in Nigeria. Adamawa state is not different as security challenges perpetrated with SALWs have destroyed lives and properties, and displaced a lot of people many of whom are farmers thereby, threatening food security. Again, Boko-Haram insurgency has over the years increased the availability of SALWs in the state. Porosity of Nigerian borders in Adamawa state axis has equally made it much easier for criminals to smuggle in SALWs into the state from neighboring Cameroon. The security agencies that are saddled with the responsibility to check this are complicit, as the bad ones facilitate the smuggling or are themselves sources of SALWs. Today, there is mutual distrust and deep seated grievances among the various ethnic groups co-habiting the state due to injustice. The deep seated grievances have made groups to acquire SALWs for self-help and retaliation. Furthermore, suspicion is commonplace and many people have lost trust and faith in the security architecture of the state government. Thus, people have resorted to the acquisition of SALWs for self-defense. Above all, politicians procure arms for the youths during elections. These arms are never returned as they are used to make ends meet due to poverty and unemployment ravaging the country. It is within the context of this broad narrative that the proliferation of SALWs is situated in Adamawa state nay Nigeria. Therefore, to check this menace, there is need to rejig the security architecture of Adamawa state and indeed Nigeria. Border security must be strengthened through cross-border security arrangement with Nigeria neighbors. The culture of violence in politics must be de-emphasized and the premium attached to political office should be reduced. Poverty and unemployment should be reduced and Justice should be served to all who deserve it. Finally, mutual trust should be encouraged by the government to foster inter-ethnic and religious co-existence and harmony among the diverse people in the state.
- Small arms and light weapons
- national security
- border control
- violent conflicts
- arms trafficking
How to Cite
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