About 200m illegal firearms circulating in Nigeria – Gov. Sani

KADUNA State Governor Uba Sani has claimed that there were about 200 million illegal firearms in Nigeria.

He further alleged that the number represented 80 per cent of 250 million illegal firearms in West Africa.

Consequently, Sani demanded that Nigeria’s gun laws be reviewed.

He argued that the widespread possession of firearms caused the country’s growing insecurity.

The governor stated these on Channels Television’s “Sunday Politics” on Sunday, February 18.


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According to Uba, he attempted to update the outdated Firearms Act during his time in the Senate. 

He said it had been over 30 years since Nigeria’s Firearms Act was amended.

“The Firearms Act in Nigeria is not in line with the global best practices. Nigeria is the only country where you can be arrested with illegal firearms and can be taken to court, and you can be released based on some charges and not imprisonment. You can pay a fine of about N50,000 naira and go home.

“That is why I started emphasising (firearms control) when the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC) tabled the report when I was in the Senate that about 200 million illegal firearms are in circulation in Nigeria out of the 250 million in circulation in West Africa,” the former Senator stated.

The governor added that state policing would reduce the threat of instability that afflicts much of the North.

Sani said in the past six months, he had emphasised that the creation of state police was the only way to address insecurity in the country.

“I am happy that some few weeks ago, some governors joined me in agitating for state police, and it was a lone voice. Some governors have also done a lot in the last few months by establishing or empowering the vigilance services,” Sani noted.

 The governor said normalcy had returned to communities affected by violence in his state, and efforts were underway to rescue those abducted by bandits.

On February 16, The ICIR reported that the Federal Government and state governors agreed on creating state police.

This was part of the outcome of a meeting between President Bola Tinubu and state governors at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday, February 15.

Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris disclosed this to reporters after the meeting.

He said the process was still in its early stages and would take shape after further discussions.

The ICIR reports that there have been calls for state police in response to the country’s growing security concerns.

Kidnapping and banditry are two security issues Nigeria has struggled with in recent years after over a decade of fighting terrorism.

On Monday, February 13, governors elected on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform reiterated their support for state policing to address the nation’s deteriorating security. The governors lamented that Nigeria “is almost on the road to Venezuela.”

While Nigerian governors have been pushing for state police, regional groups in the country have established security outfits to complement the Federal Government-funded police and other security institutions in the country.




     

     

    The South-East launched Ebube Agu, the South-West created Amotekun, and the North founded “Shege Ka Fasa”. 

    However, it appears that only Amotekun has fully taken shape among the outfits.

    In addition to the regional outfits, some states, including Benue, Zamfara, and Kano, have created vigilantes or constabularies to protect their people further.

    The ICIR reported that over 5,000 Nigerians were killed in President Bola Tinubu’s first seven months in office, underscoring worsening insecurity under his watch.

     

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