By Paul Efiong
Former Presidential candidate under the African Liberation Party for the 2007 general elections, Osita Okereke Emmanuel (OON), has commended the House of Representatives for allowing the bill which seeks to establish
National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons, to scale through second reading.
Chief Okereke gave the commendation in an exclusive interview with our reporter yesterday in his Abuja Office, where he added that the bill is very crucial to National development and security as it will bring an end to all kinds of farmers/fulani crisis and curtail proliferation of fire arms.
The Bill, according to him, seeks to regulate and prohibit proliferation of fire arms and ammunitions, including light weapons into and outside the country.
A confidential source informed Peoples Daily that Nigeria has the highest weapons in Africa with 70% against 500 million in the content.
“When passed into law, the Bill is expected to sensitize the public on the dangers of small arms and light weapons in order to discourage their production, as well as to combat the problem of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria in line with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons and for related matters”, it said.
It would be recalled that Honourable Elendu-Ukeje, while presenting the bill on the floor of the House of Representatives, had explained that the establishment of the commission becomes inevitable on the heels of unabated conflicts, religious crises, insurrection, terrorism, insurgency, militancy, revolt, electoral violence, robbery, cross border smuggling, kidnapping, sexual violence, domestic violence and other life threatening vices across the country.
It would be remembered that Okereke was one of the Special Advisers to former President Goodluck Jonathan on the control of Fire Arms and Light weapon.
He also disclosed to this medium that although the bill has pass through first and second reading in the House of Representatives, much input by the public shall be made during public hearing stage.