A Professor of Comparative Politics and Public Policy and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Benin, Edo State, Augustine Ikelegbe, has proffered solutions to ending arms proliferation in country amid the deteriorating security situation.
Prof Ikelegbe spoke Saturday at the inaugural memorial lecture in honour of a former Director General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, late Prof Habu Galadima, who died in December last year.
The don said, “A regime of fear, anxiety, siege, threats and helplessness and extensive losses, dislocations, destabilisations, destruction and devastation is evident, and Nigerians have become victims of violence and criminality perpetrated by diverse armed elements on the highways, farms, schools, streets, banks, markets and homes. There are huge attendant costs on socio-political and economic development, social and physical infrastructure, livelihoods, incomes and productivity, as well as a huge toll on human security and human development.
“In tackling the situation, therefore, there is need for a national action plan on small arms control. This would involve updating legislations, strengthening sanctions and establishing departments within the arms control. Consistent, effective, reliable and strong border security is also crucial to containing Nigeria’s vulnerability to arms inflow because the border remains a major source of illicit trading and trafficking of drugs and other goods.
“Intelligence-driven security management that is based on sophisticated technology and highly trained and motivated personnel is central to effective security management. There is need for significant strengthening of the security outfits through increased employment, training, professionalism, discipline, motivation, equipment, technology and resources to improve capacity and effectiveness.”
He further said state policing was the only way for effective security management as it would harness local knowledge, intelligence, capacity and drive into policing, adding that the pattern of specific arms prevalence had changed from hand guns like pistols and barrel guns to pump action rifles.
In their separate remarks, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (who spoke via zoom) and Prof Sam Egwu (who was the second guest lecturer) described the late Galadima as a great academician, researcher with the interest and progress of Nigeria at heart.