The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been commended for its efforts and commitment towards checkmating and curtailing the influx and proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the country. This was made known by the National Coordinator of the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW), Major General Abba Dikko (Rtd), who was recently at NAF Headquarters on a courtesy visit to the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hasan Bala Abubakar. The Coordinator noted that the NAF has continued to assist the Centre in the transportation, storage and security of seized weapons, which are efforts that have continued to ease the burden of work for the Centre. According to him, “The commitment and diligence of the NAF towards assisting the Centre rid the nation of small arms and light weapons through airlifts, robust collaborative efforts, mutual synergy and proactive intelligence gathering is incomparable and must be appreciated.” Speaking further, Major General Dikko (Rtd) solicited for CAS influence in the passage of the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons Bill 2023, which is currently before the Senate of the National Assembly.
In his remarks, Air Marshal Abubakar stated that the NAF and the Centre have had a cordial working relationship since its establishment in May 2021. He also noted that since proliferation of small arms and light weapons is directly proportional to heightened level of insecurity, the establishment of the Centre is apt and timely. He then expressed his delight at the efforts of the Centre in curbing illegal spread and flow of arms and other weapons within Nigeria. According to the CAS, “Any effort at controlling the proliferation of the small arms and light weapons is certainly a welcome development to everyone seeking a prosperous and peaceful Nigeria.” Air Marshal Abubakar also commended the Coordinator for the establishment of a database for legitimate and illegitimate arms in the country, which will go a long way in assisting security agencies and the Federal Government in taking the most appropriate lines of action as it relates to weapons and ammunition management. He then assured him of NAF’s continued support to the Centre as it strives to achieve its mandate.