Emmanuel Okereke, the Director-General of the National Taskforce on Small Arms, Light and Chemical weapons, has alleged that some bigwig politicians have purchased all types of ammunition ahead of 2019 elections.
Okereke, disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja, on Tuesday.
He said the activities of these politicians were aided as a result of the porous nature of Nigeria’s borders and the lack of a watchdog over illegal importation of arms.
"Due to the lack of a legally established specific body or commission as obtainable in 14 out of the 16 countries in the West African sub-region, all manner of ammunition have been illegally brought into the country ahead of the elections by high-class political players," he said.
“For Nigeria to effectively tackle the menace of proliferation of ammunition in the country with its attendant crimes, a National Commission for the Prohibition of Illegal Importation of Small Arms, Ammunition and Light Weapons and other related matters, must be established as already done by other West African countries except Nigeria and Gambia.”
Okereke said the commission was suggested by the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) for all all West African countries in December 2017.
Lamenting that Nigeria was yet to do the needful, he said: “Unfortunately, while 14 out of the 16 members sub-regional body have complied, Nigeria and Gambia have yet to do the needful in that direction. The bill, as it is currently in the 8th Senate, has passed second reading in the House of Representatives but not yet at the Senate having earlier failed to scale through the required legislative processes in the 6th and 7th National Assembly".
He urged the Senate to double up their efforts on the bill so the commission can take flight.