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Blame Politicians For Rroliferation of Arms in Nigeria- Senator Shehu Sani

A senator, Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central) has accused Nigerian politicians of being behind the proliferation of illegal firearms around the nation and the violence.
   Senator Shehu Sani

He said this while contributing to a motion on the proliferation of firearms in Nigeria, sponsored by Suleiman Hunkuyi (APC, Kaduna North).

Mr Hunkuyi had lamented the incessant killings in several parts of the country with reference to the most recent one in Kaduna State on Saturday.

The Saturday attack by bandits left no fewer than 58 people dead in Gwaska village, Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of the state. The attack came barely 48 hours after the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, and Mohammed Mohammed, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna, visited the local government.

The gunmen also killed the Sarkin Fawa (Head of local vigilante) who was on his way back to the village and set several houses in the village of about 3,000 inhabitants ablaze.

Following the latest attack, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, announced that the federal government had agreed to deploy a permanent army battalion in the troubled area.

In his contribution, Mr Sani frowned at the constant invitation of security chiefs for briefing. He explained that the central issue is the political class which is complicit in the proliferation of arms in Nigeria.

He explained that there are more firearms in the country than tractors and the proliferation of these is key to the destabilising the peace of Nigeria.

“It is not possible for our security agencies to bring an end to the violence, killings, bloodshed, and proliferation of arms in this country as long as the political class includes violence as part of their political strategy to retain political power or to assume political power.

“We are becoming an AK-47 nation. People are killed every day and our country is becoming a failed state.

 It is a concern to every Nigerian today that the state is failing. People in rural areas and isolated places are being killed and all we can do is condole, condemn, deliberate, discuss and offer one-minute-silence and the silence continues,” he said.

Urging his colleagues not to “deceive” themselves, he stated that the scale of arms in the country has the capability to bring an end to the nation as a Republic.

“The motion before us here brings to spotlight the reality of the Nigerian state. It should also touch our conscience that we must move fast. There is a limit to what the security agencies can do in a political atmosphere where the people in power are openly advocating and canvassing for violence.

“Hardly, in this country, will you find a politician who does not have a reserve of arms which he deploys during congresses, primary and general elections.

“Until we have a new national reorientation where people should not see politics as a do or die affair but as an opportunity to serve, this problem may not end. We have seen violence in the North-east, North-central and it is about the proliferation of arms. We have seen theories, conjectures, and hypotheses saying all these arms come from Libya. What happened to our border guards, military, customs, and immigration? What happened to the billions of naira spent on protecting our borders?

“It is unfortunate that we are moving towards the 2019 general elections and the handwriting on the wall is very clear. People are adopting the act of violence to retain their office and assume office,” he said.
The senator reminded his colleagues that Nigeria’s political orientation and culture is one that promotes, aides, and abates violence. He said political parties in Nigeria were not founded on any ideology but as a vehicle for assuming political offices.

“Violence is not simply about herdsmen and insurgents but we have seen an institutionalised adoption and adaptation of violence as a policy and strategy of people in the position of power.

“The political class teaches the people how to use guns. You bring them in. It is everywhere on the pages of the newspaper. We have even seen violence on this floor here and nothing was done about it. So, what are you inviting the security chiefs to come and do? There are more sophisticated arms in the hands of anonymous people than we have in stock as a state.

“We need to change our political orientation from the top to down. People were killed in Brinin-Gwari Local Government and even the Army has withdrawn from the area because they do not have enough firepower to confront the herdsmen and bandits,” he said.

The Senate thereafter, summoned all service chiefs; the Director-General of the State Security Service, Lawan Daura; the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali; and the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, to discuss ways to put an end to the security threats.

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