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By Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The rising cases of armed struggle and militancy championed by the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has been blamed on the poor implementation of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) and proliferation of Small Arms and Lights Weapons (SALW) in the country.
This was disclosed in Abuja at the weekend by the Chairman, Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PRESCOM), Amb. Emmanuel Imohe, during the Inter –Ministerial Roundtable on the ATT in Nigeria organised in collaboration with West African Action Network on Small Arms and Light Weapons (WAANSA) and Control Arms Coalition.
Imohe raised the alarm that Nigeria is awash with SALW and said that the implementation of the amnesty programme was poorly carried out in that the militants returned knocked out weapons in exchange for funds with which some might have purchased more sophisticated arms.
He said that while PAP was a right move, its execution did not align with the spirit and letter of its initiators.
He said: “Something is wrong with the implementation of the Amnesty Programme so that the spirit does not tally with the letter of the programme. There is no congruence in the two and I pray that as the things stand in the Niger Delta, government does not allow the crisis to degenerate further.
“Anybody who wants to resolve the security situations in this country must first of all mop up the weapons so that these groups do not have access to them. The country is awash with small arms and light weapons. So it is important for us as a country to put up a system that can help mop up the weapons in circulation.”.
Speaking further, Imohe who is the President, second Conference of State Parties (CSP2) of ATT coming up in August this year in Geneva, Switzerland, urged African countries to ratify the treaty.
Further details later