Presidential committee raises alarm over proliferation of arms

By Post Nigeria January 7, 2015 16:49

Presidential committee raises alarm over proliferation of arms

The Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons, PRESCOM, Ambassador Emmanuel Imohe, on Tuesday in Enugu raised alarm over the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, SALWs, across the country, adding that all hands must be on deck to curtail the ugly situation as it poses a threat to next month’s general election.

Imohe, disclosed this in his key-note address at a sensitisation forum for the South-east zone held in Enugu, describing the small arms and light weapons as “weapons of mass destruction’’ that continue to fuel conflict and violence globally. He re-affirmed that the negative impact that they would make on the upcoming elections cannot be overemphasized.

He further noted that the commission decided to embark on a sensitisation programme under the theme “Ballot without bullets” across the country to enlighten the people about the menace and to get them involved in the war against electoral violence that could be fueled by the weapons.

The PRESCOM Chairman who was represented by the Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Simon Egede, said the sensitisation programme would also help the commission collate ideas and contributions from the people for the formulation of strong policies to tackle the influence of SALWs on elections and security in the country.

Also in his address, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, noted that the 2015 general election could only be judged to be free and fair if it was devoid of violence and electoral malpractices.

The INEC boss who was represented by the Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Osaze Ori, stressed that the commission was also worried about the proliferation of small arms and light weapons and the negative effect it could have on the elections if not checked.

He disclosed that INEC was working in collaboration with other securities outfit to ensure a violence free general election.

He further commended the PRESCOM for organizing such a forum, stating it would help to raise adequate awareness about the threat with the purpose of enabling people to join hands to prevent violence during the elections.