The National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) has raised an alarm over the proliferation of illegal private security outs allegedly parading themselves as authorised small arms and light weapons control organisations, especially in the North Central.
The North Central Coordinator of the Centre, Major General Hamza Bature (rtd.), made this known on Tuesday at a press briefing in Minna, the zonal headquarters of the centre.
He said findings by the centre recently revealed that such organisations had gone as far as deceiving innocent citizens in Kogi State with a promise to give them jobs to assist in mopping up small arms and light weapons.
“Unauthorised outfits have sprung up, deceitfully presenting themselves as the focal organisations for the control of illicit small arms and light weapons, creating false impressions of legitimacy and authority. These unauthorised bodies risk exacerbating the security issues,” he said.
Bature lamented that the activities of such illegal organisations would complicate the tasks of the centre to ensure Nigeria became an illicit small arms-free society, while the image of the centre was also at stake.
He said the NCCSALW remained the only legitimate government body with the mandate to mop up illicit small arms and light weapons across the country.
Bature explained that the centre, through collaboration with arms-bearing security agencies, relevant ministries, departments and agencies, international partners and credible civil society organisations have mopped up and destroyed over 3,000 small arms and light weapons, in Plateau State, Abuja and other parts of the country in November 2022 and February 2023.
Some manufacturers of such arms were traced through intelligence and arrested, according to him.
The coordinator said some of the illegal organisations include the National Task Force, and the Civilian Joint Task Force, all operating in Abuja and other parts of the North Central.