By Nkoli Opara (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – According to a report carried out by a research and consultancy group, Beacon Consulting Ltd., a member of ASIS International, the world’s largest association for security management professionals, approximately 6.5 million small arms and light weapons are circulating in Nigeria, with 5 million in the possession of non-state actors, and 568,000 in possession of security agencies.
This was disclosed on “The Morning Show”, which aired on ARISE NEWS Channel, by the Assistant Regional Vice President, Region 11 ASIS International and Managing Director Beacon Consulting Ltd, Dr. Kabiru Umar, who said his consultancy group conducted the research that resulted in the alarming findings.
“Just in March, we did a survey on the circulation of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria now and I don’t mean to be a harbinger of bad news or to raise the alarm. But I think it’s important that we know how bad these things are. We came to the conclusion based on verifiable information that there are 6.5 million small arms and light weapons in circulation.
“So, we now did the next step, which is to break down in terms of who has what and we came up with a figure 586,000 in the hands of our law enforcement agents”, he said.
“Now, that means there are over 5 million in the hands of these non-state actors. Now, we also tried to establish how many of those five million weapons are licensed by the police under the existing laws and unfortunately, there are no verifiable records or evidence to suggest that this is the number.”
“So, we came up with, let’s say, a million. And that means for instance, there are about four million of these weapons in the hands of those that shouldn’t have them”, he said.
Speaking further on the findings, Umar said the disparity in the amount of arms in the possession of non-state actors in juxtaposition with the personnel of the country’s law enforcement agencies was responsible for the ability of armed groups to act without checks, adding that, for instance, Out of the 27 ministries, departments and agencies involved in security, none of them could confidently and boldly go into the ungoverned spaces and rescue abducted persons.