Proliferation of small arms and light weapons threat to national security – Arase, fmr IGP
Dr. Solomon Arase, former Inspector General of Police, has noted that the proliferation of small arms and light weapons posed a great risk to national security.
Arase, who was Guest Speaker at National Association of Online Security and News Publishers, NAOSNP, 2023 conference, themed: “Uptick of Lethal
Weapons as Security Threat: Arm-Full, Harm-Full in the New
Dispensation,” appreciated President Bola Tinubu approving the recruitment of 30,000 police officers to bolster the Nigeria Police Force.
He added: “One of the gravest threats to our national security today is the proliferation of small arms and light weapons. These weapons have fueled conflicts, perpetuated violence, and destabilized communities across our nation. It is a threat that requires immediate and concerted efforts from all stakeholders, and I am pleased to report that we are making
significant strides in this regard.
“The Nigeria Police Force, in collaboration with the National
Commission for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons
(NCCSALW), has been actively engaged in initiatives to curb the spread of these lethal weapons. The NCCSALW, domiciled under the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), has played a pivotal role in coordinating these efforts. The partnership between the Nigeria Police Force and the NCCSALW has been instrumental in curbing the illicit
trade and circulation of small arms and light weapons.
“Furthermore, President Tinubu has demonstrated a strong commitment to equipping the Nigeria Police Force with cutting-edge equipment and technology. The acquisition of modern tools and resources, especially non-lethal weapons, is crucial in our efforts to counter the threats posed by armed groups and criminal organizations.”
He noted that with these investments, they would be better positioned to confront emerging
security challenges and maintain law and order.
Speaking further, Arase said: “In addition to these measures, the Police Service Commission (PSC)
has been diligently working to ensure a more accountable and efficient
police force. We have actively addressed the issues that previously
strained our relationship with the police, particularly those related to
recruitment. The establishment of a Compliance Monitoring Unit within
the PSC ensures that complaints and police investigations are carried out promptly, meticulously and followed through to their logical
“We are also committed to ensuring that all matters related to
appointment, promotion, and discipline are handled promptly and fairly.
“The principles of federal character and competence are fundamental in
our decision-making processes, ensuring that every officer is treated
fairly and their contributions duly recognized.
“While we celebrate the progress made in controlling the proliferation
of small arms and light weapons and enhancing the Nigeria Police Force,
we must recognize that this is an ongoing battle. The challenges are
complex and multifaceted, and we need the collective efforts of all
Nigerians to succeed. It is essential that communities, civil society
organizations, and other stakeholders work closely with the police to
report suspicious activities, provide information, and promote peace and
Arase emphasized that addressing the uptick of lethal weapons as
a security threat “requires a holistic approach. The collaboration between
the Nigeria Police Force and the NCCSALW is a significant step in the
right direction, but we must continue to build on this foundation.
“President Bola Tinubu’s unwavering support and commitment to security
initiatives are instrumental in achieving our objectives.”
The former police chief called for national unity to overcome the challenges that confront the country, saying: “Together, we can create a safer and more secure Nigeria, where every citizen can live in peace and prosperity.”