The Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons. A Nexus to Asymmetric Threats in Nigeria

Academic Paper, 2019

23 Pages, Grade: 2

Free online reading


Nigeria has been besieged by the outbreak of violence conflicts which has over the years claimed thousands of lives and property. This is owing to the activities of kidnappers, armed robbers, sea pirates, political thugs, arms traffickers and most importantly, the extremist group: Boko Haram. BH has in the last nine years killed over 20,000 people in the North East Nigeria. The group has sustained its attacks on the state, brutally killing thousands of people including soldiers, women and children. All these armed activities continue unabated, partly because of unchecked arms proliferation in the country. These groups use both locally manufactured and imported devices to inflict havoc on the society. Their growing expertise in the use of explosives and other devises contributes to increased violent acts against the citizens and the state. Increasingly, these armed groups have acquired high level of sophistication in the production and use of these weapons in their operations. It is estimated that 70 per cent of over 10 million illegal weapons in circulation in West Africa are in Nigeria. It is in this light that this paper interrogates the escalation and dynamics of proliferation of arms that have fueled deadly insurgency in Nigeria. It examines the interplay of factors that underpins this security challenge. The paper relies mostly on news report and scholarly publications. It recommends among others the establishment of a National Commission on small arms to serve as a legal framework for combating arms proliferation in order to enhance human security in Nigeria.

Keywords: non-state actors, SALW proliferation, terrorism, arms trafficking, human security


One of the primary aspirations of leaders in relation with external environment is to achieve greatness among comity of nations. It is this desire that drives the actions and inactions of statesmen, political leaders and policy makers in articulating policies aimed at achieving peace at home while focusing on longer objectives – attaining greatness. One of the indices of measuring greatness among nations is building capacity and capability to protect and carter for citizens, defend the territorial integrity while maintain peaceful co-existing and relations across borders. At independence in 1960, Nigerian state was faced with challenges bordering on national integration and development. Though endowed with abundant human and natural resources, the goal of achieving overall national development through unity has not been fully actuallised. This is greatly influenced by consistent armed conflicts and criminality that has become part of Nigerian state. The Adaka Boro uprising of 1966 heralded the post independence insurrections, culmination in a civil war (1967-1970). Since then, the country has continued to count its losses in human, resources, institutional damage and the economic loss. The activities of these armed groups are made possible due to a free flow of dangerous weapons by different groups at different times. Most of these threats are fanned by unchecked movement of small arms and light weapons in the country.

Although Nigeria’s legal system does not encourage possession of fire arms by persons other than security operatives and individuals licensed by police authority, there have been cases of illegal possession of arms in the country. The Firearms Act of 1959 remains a major framework to deal with the issues of arms proliferation. Although the Act is inadequate to deal with contemporary threats in accordance with global standards, the country has continued to rely on its provisions in dealing with these issues. The ECOWAS Convention on Small arms, made a number of recommendations in addressing the challenges posed by arms proliferation in West Africa. One of such recommendations is the establishment of a National Convention on Small Arms for all member states. As at the time of writing, Nigeria is yet to establish a National Commission. The country has been utilizing a Presidential Committee on Small Arms which the needed statutory backing.

Though there have been reported cases of security operatives being fingered as accomplices to trading in arms and ammunitions that fans deadly violence, criminality and sometimes, conflicts. In any political setting where such act thrives, arms trade and criminality, conflict of different magnitude will definitely take the day as has been the case in parts of Nigeria in the recent years. The country’s poor monitoring of arms flow has increasingly heightened the sustainability of terror by insurgent groups and other criminal elements in the country.

SALWs proliferation within and across the country is one of the major reasons why the war on terror appears to be endless. Some arrests and discoveries made by security officials shows that some of the weapons being used by criminals found their way into the country as part of the fallout of the 2011 Libyan war that ended the 42-year rule of Maummar Gaddafi. Also, conflicts in neighbouring countries like Mali, Chad and Niger have been blamed for creating fertile ground for arms traffickers to have a free day. Thus, the porous nature of Nigeria’s borders and the activities of the local blacksmiths have all been pointed as an enabler to arms proliferation in the country.

The unchecked activities of arms dealers with the existence of unmanned border points will in the long run dwarf the efforts of government in dealing with asymmetric threats in the country. Hence, it is on this premise that this paper examines the relationship between SALWs proliferation and sustained asymmetric threats against Nigerian state with particular reference to the insecurity in the North East. It begins with a conceptual clarification of major terms. This is followed by a legal framework in combating arms threats. It looks at a review of other positions on the BH crisis. Then the paper dwells on the overview and the relationship between SALWs proliferation and asymmetric threats in Nigeria and its impact on national security.

The area covered by this paper is the Federal Republic of Nigeria. More space is devoted to North East Nigeria, where the BH conflict has been most prolonged. The sources of the essay are mainly media reports and scholarly publications. These are used to provide context and perspectives.

Conceptual Clarification

This paper looks at the relationship between arms proliferation and asymmetric threats in Nigeria, particularly in the North East. Boko Haram commenced violent campaign against Nigerian state since 2009 and has since then killed over 20,000 people (Onuoha, 2013), with over 2,151,979 people displaced in Abuja, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Nasarawa, Taraba and Yobe states.. BH graduated from conducting targeted drive-by shooting in Maiduguri to launching massive bomb assaults in Abuja, Kano, Yobe, Kaduna and other places in the north. The group carried out more than 31 attacks between 7 September 2010 and 29 September 2013. (Odeh, 2014: 22).

Insurgency: Insurgent warfare can be defined as a war between two opposing sides wherefore; their military strength, strategy or tactics differ significantly (Buffaloe, 2006). This is to say that both parties do not match up sizably, thereby giving one of the parties a stronger edge. These are not new developments; the world has had to witness so many in time past.

Small Arms and Light Weapons: for the purpose of this paper referred to as SALW. Although there is no universally acceptable definition of SALW, the report of the United Nations Panel of Government Experts on small arms in 1997 sees SALW as: weapons ranging from knife and machete to those weapons that are less potent than the UN register of conventional arms like mortars below the caliber of 100mm. they are designed for use by one person and manufactured with military specifications. Light weapons in the order hand can be used by several persons working as a team (Ayissi and Sall, 2005).

SALWs: Categorizations: Article 1 of ECOWAS Convention on SALW, Ammunition and other Related Materials, classified light weapons as portable arms designed to be used by several persons working together in a team and which includes:

- Heavy machine guns;
- Portable grenade launchers, mobile or mounted;
- Portable anti-aircraft cannons;
- Portable anti-tank cannons, non-recoil guns;
- Portable anti-tank missiles launchers or rocket launchers;
- Portable anti-aircraft missile launchers
- Mortars with a caliber of less than 100 millimeters;

Small Arms: Arms used by one person and which include notably:

- Firearms and other destructive arms or devices such as an exploding bomb, an incendiary bomb or gas bomb, a grenade, rocket launcher, a missile, a missile system or landmine;
- Revolvers and pistols with automatic loading;
- Rifles and carbines;
- Machine guns
- Assault rifles
- Light machine guns

Ammunitions: Devices meant to be shot or projected through the means of firearms including among others:

- Cartridges;
- Projectiles and missiles for light weapons;
- Mobile containers with missiles or projectiles for anti aircraft or anti-tank single action system (ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, 2006).

Legal Frameworks for Combating SALWs Proliferations

Proliferation of SALWs in Nigeria has been blamed largely on lack of adequate and strong legal and institutional frameworks to regulate and prevent unhindered movement of arms and ammunition. Though Nigeria is a signatory to a number of frameworks on non proliferation, most of these frameworks have not been domesticated into Nigeria’s legal system. The report of the West Africa Action Network on Small Arms in 2006 propelled the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to adopt a Convention to regulate the production, circulation and civilian possession of SALWs to curtail insecurity and other transnational organize crimes in the sub region. The WAANSA estimated a total number of small arms in circulation in the sub region to stand at 8 million (Ndiaye, 2008). Although the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons recommends an establishment of a National Commission for the Prohibition of illegal importation of small arms, ammunitions and light weapons for all member states, Nigeria is yet to establish a National Commission. Nigeria has been relying on a Presidential Committee to deal with the issue of Small Arms. A Presidential Committee as a national framework is, no doubt, inadequate to deal with rising issues of SALW in the country.

The Nigerian parliament has taken steps to address this lacuna. It has sponsored a Bill seeking to establish a National Commission for the Prohibition of illegal importation of small arms, ammunitions and light weapons (David, 2018:30). If it is established, the Commission would be fully responsible for regulating and prohibiting proliferation of small arms, ammunitions and light weapons and other related materials. The country is relying on the Firearms Act of 1959 in handling cases of violations. (Osimen, 2015: 11). The Nigeria’s Parliament had moved for the amendment of the Firearms Act in line with current realities. The Firearms Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 was in November 2018 passed for amendment to provide for the increase of fine and stringent jail terms against offenders, and destruction of illegal imported firearms imposed in Section 27 (1) (c) (i-v), 28 and 35 (2) of the Act. The Amendment recommends 10 years imprisonment for illegal possessors, importers and manufactures of firearms in the country. It also prescribed a fine of 1 million naira against offenders as well as stamping of all firearms sold or transferred respectively. The Amendment if it successfully becomes a legal document is intended to address the inadequacies in the Firearms Act of 1959.

The Firearms Act was enacted 49 years ago, long before the adoption of ECOWAS and other UN Conventions. It is the position of this paper that the Firearms Act has become obsolete as it no longer reflects current global dynamics and benchmarks. For instance, the dynamics of threats has changed especially since the end of Cold War and this also needs a change of strategy in dealing with contemporary threats. This necessitates the need for a review of the Act in tune with the current challenges. For instance, Article 18 of ECOWAS Convention provides for marking to include a unique serial number, the manufacturing identity, origin state and year of production. While Section 13 (1), 7 and 42 of the Firearms Act does not require all these listed information in marking arms. This becomes a challenge to tracing SALWs that has international routing.

At the regional and international arena, there is the thinking that neighbouring West Africa countries like Mali, Chad and Niger operate a loose system that encourages SALWs proliferation. This is largely due to their long history of political instability, violence and sometimes, conflict that have demystified state authorities and contradicting the perception of states as having the monopoly of the use of force, thereby creating conducive environment for arms traffickers to operate unhindered with little or no regulations checkmating their activities (Malam, 2014). With the increasing shrinking of national frontiers as a result of globalization, arms traffickers now find it easy to cross borders to Nigeria with connivance from local syndicates in the illicit act. This is further compounded by the existence of many unmanned borders and factors such as BH insurgency in the North East, leading to a steady influx of arms into the country, a situation that is pointed as enabling the conflicts to feaster.

Arms Proliferation as an Enabler to Internal Conflicts

Increasingly, some factors are responsible for the prolonged BH crisis in Nigeria. Nigeria has several entry points, aside the regular policed borders. Government authorities also reveal that there exist hundreds of footpaths linking many neighboring countries. For instance, out of the 27 local government areas in Borno state, nine share a common border with neighboring countries like Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. SALW are easily trafficked in and out of Nigeria through these unmanned routes. Consequently, it is revealed that as at December 2018 all the 10 local government areas in Borno North are controlled by Boko Haram insurgents (TVC Journalist Hangout program, 3 December, 2018).

Additionally, the waterways and seaports provide opportunity for dealers to traffic arms into the country through ships and speedboats and the use of canoes in the creeks. In the South-South sub region, the hob of Nigeria oil economy, crude oil has become trade-for-arms commodity especially during the peak of the Niger-Delta militancy (2006-2008). Countries that have weak arms control policy are allegedly involved in shipping arms through the seaports in exchange for crude oil with possible involvement of officials in the affected areas. To buttress this position, Lt Col. Musa, the spokesperson for Operation Restore Order, Maiduguri, Borno State observed that proliferation of small arms and light weapons was increasingly and dangerously becoming a transnational organized crime in Nigeria (Sagir, 2013:1). With BH insurgency, Niger Delta crisis and escalating kidnapping, communal crises and armed robbery in the South East providing conducive ground for arms trafficking and proliferation. Some border towns, particularly in the North Eastern flank, serve as a hub for trafficking of arms as well as stolen goods, drugs and hostage taking by criminals, terrorists and their collaborators (Sagir 2013: 1).

Beyond all these and disturbing as it appears is the report that some of the IEDs used by BH are manufactured locally and used by its members. The group is also utilizing every opportunity that comes its way including the uncontrolled activities of local blacksmiths that manufacture some of the weapons and increasing arms trafficking and proliferation. BH has continued to hold ground in Borno state, killing tens of soldiers in succession of attacks in Buuni Gari, Metele among others.

Asymmetric Threats in Northern Nigeria and the Emergence of Boko Haram

Nigeria’s independence was welcomed by asymmetric threats that almost marred the unity of the nation. Events leading to the civil war of 1967-1970 saw many lives lost and many more displaced. However, since the end of the war, the Northern Nigeria has again witnessed a number of threats to security of lives and property. A number of factors have been responsible for the violence and insecurity in the north. These include among others: religion, politics and indigene/settler conundrum. Some of the security threats that have led to the killing and displacement of thousands of people in the north include the 1966 mass killings of people of southern descent in some northern states, the Maitatsine riots in Kano and other parts of the north in the 1980’s, the 1999/ 2000 Sharia riots, the September 2001 Jos riot, the October 2001 riots in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa states, 2002-2003 Tarok farmers-herdsmen crisis in Jos, the 2004 Telwa Christian/ethnic Tarok versus ethnic Muslim Hausas in central Plateau state, the 2004 Christian attacks on Muslims, the April 2005 riots in Jos and the March 2010 Sectarian Massacre at Dogo Nahawa South of Jos and, the 2011 post-election violence which spread through many parts of the north with hundreds of life lost.

Scholars like Onuoha, (2013), Yusuf: (2013), and Zenn: (2013:46-53) believe that BH has its roots in the Maitatsine violence that took place in the early 1980s which revealed an organized group that engaged the state in an armed struggle. The Maitatsine violence was inspired by a preacher Muhammadu Marwa. This position is common to the works of scholars focusing on Islamic revivalism in northern Nigeria, which presents the BH as the latest resurgence of the Maitatsine, given that it shared with the Maitatsine the same ideological opposition to anything perceived as western (Onuoha, 2014). It occurred in 1978 in Kaduna and then in 1980, 1981 and 1984 in Kano, Adamawa, and Borno states respectively. Other accounts traced it to 1995, when Abubakar Lawan established the Ahlulsunna wal’jama’ahhijra or Shabaab group (Muslim Youth Organisation) in Maduigiri, Borno State. This second account was promoted by security and intelligence operatives in Nigeria. It maintains that the sect operated as a non-violent movement until when Abubakar Lawan left to pursue further studies in Saudi Arabia, creating opening for Mohammed Yusuf in 2002 to take over the leadership of the group (Thisday News, 2009 and Tribune, 2012). Those in academic circle agree more on the most recent account, which traced the sect’s origin to when Yusuf emerged as the leader of the group. Though Yusuf was an inspiring leader to the sect, his death in 2009 paved way for a more hawkish leader, Abubakar Shekau who writers like (Odeh, 2014) described as an ‘enigma’ to lead a violent campaign since 2009, killing over 20,000 people (Musa and Olaniyi, 2017). Since its emergence, the group has metamorphosed under various names like the Nigerian Taliban, Muhajirun, Yusufiyyah sect, Boko Haram and lately as Jama’atu Ahlissunnah Lidda’awati wal Jihad. The sect introduced a deadly dimension to asymmetric attacks that were hitherto unknown in the country since its history. This is made possible owing to the increase in arms proliferation in the region.

Table 1: No. of Deaths Resulted from Boko Haram Attacks from August 3013 to February 2014

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

(Source: monitored and compiled by the author)

Overview of SALW Proliferation in Nigeria

Since the return of democracy in 1999, Nigeria has faced varying degree of threats from different groups. The number of arms in circulation in the country, such as the pump-action rifle, browning pistol, the luger pistol, the berretta pistol, stun gun, impoverished explosive devices (IEDs), local bomb and materials, and the Kalashnikov (AK-47), is worsening insecurity in the country.

Ogunbayode (2013:2) in describing the potency of locally made weapons and there proliferation posits that:

- you have the automatic ones which are made from conventional factories, and then, you have the locally made ones which are just like the imitation of the automatic ones but they were locally made by our blacksmiths and by our welders. They are also very potent because they fire. In the past, you have locally made guns that fire cartridges, but today we have locally made guns that fire the conventional bullets. So one can see that one source is from our blacksmiths. And what they use are just plumbing pipes which form the nozzles and they also fashion out locally, all other firing mechanisms which they weld together and it works. One can argue that we do not have locally made ammunition, cartridges and bullets but these locally made guns fire this orthodox ammunition. So the source is within.

It is more disturbing to accept that security operatives that are supposed to be the custodians of the arms whose statutory responsibility is to protect the citizens and keep the borders free from any infiltration, are also alleged to have participated in this criminal activities. There were reported cases where security operatives allegedly lease out guns to criminals who bring financial returns on accomplishing their mission (Mordi, 2013).

The escalation of arms proliferation in Nigeria and the resulting crisis has elucidated response from government. The Nigerian Police Force is currently embarking on a mop-up exercise to get illicit arms out of circulation. As a measure to address the Niger Delta crisis, the Federal Government in 2009 embarked on amnesty programme for ‘repentant militants’. The programme, though still ongoing, saw thousands of arms cache of different capability being surrendered to government by ex militants. The question that is seeking for answer is; how and through what means those arms were acquired by the militants in the creeks undetected. The inability to properly address this concern, again, resulted in the illegal arming of other groups that have gradually festered and pose a great challenge to the nation. There are debates across different quarters over the possibility of granting amnesty to BH should the later accept amnesty. This again came with condemnations and acceptance from different groups. Those opposed to amnesty for BH feared the possibility of other groups springing up in future, while those that favoured the programme saw it as a panacea to peace and a strategy for mopping arms from illegal use.

Most gun dealers operate a black market business where the commodity is sold at amount far cheaper than in conventional market. Like in many other parts of the world, where non state actors may not afford to buy the weapons; alternatively, natural resources such as ‘crude oil’ in the Niger Delta, ‘blood diamond’ in Sierra Leone and Liberia among others are exchanged for weapons. In some instances, those armed actors become so rich and powerful to the extent that they could control instruments of violence or even challenge government’s monopoly of power. In Lagos for instance, police authority argued that there was no day the Lagos State Police Command would not arrest a suspected criminal with arms (Mordi, 2013). The police posits that within three weeks, it recovered 27 AK-47 rifles and different types of ammunition from criminals in the state. The same is also applicable in many other parts of the country. The Nigeria Federal seat of power, Abuja recorded a total recovery of 604 rounds of live ammunition, 27 locally-made pistols, 3 AK-47 riffles, 1 Life-Riffle, 11 Wooden/Toy Guns and 1 JoeJeff Pump Action Gun from armed robbers by the police.

In Kano, there was also a discovery of a cache of arms and ammunition at a bunker in a house belonging to a Lebanese national on May 28, 2013 by the security operatives. The discovery raised apprehension over the existence of an organized arms trafficking syndicate operating within the shores of the country. This also shows that arms trade and proliferation in Nigeria has transnational outlook which is made possible by geographical factors such as the size of Nigeria landmass, seaport and borders. A total of 11, 50mm anti-tank weapons, two 122mm artillery gun ammunition, four anti-tank landmines, 21 rocket-propelled grenades, RPG, 16 rocket-propelled grenades charger, one rocket-propelled grenade tube and 76 military grenade, one SMG rifle, nine pistols, 17 AK-47 rifles, 44 magazines, 11,433 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition and 103 packet of slap TNT were among the weapons recovered from the raid on the building facility (Muhammad, 2013).

The challenge for government is that of having accurate data of registered arms in circulation. There are hardly records of arms and ammunition in circulation. The Police authority in 2013 put the record of guns in circulation in Nigeria at 2 million. Out of this number, 1 million was registered while it could not account for the remaining 1 million. This wholesome number, if the data is reliable, may have fallen into wrong hands and deployed for criminal purposes. Nigeria’s official source contradicts that of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The UNDP record puts the total number of arms in circulation in West Africa at 8 million with Nigeria alone having 5,600,000 (Vanguard, 2013). Other sources put the figure at 10 million in West Africa in which Nigeria accounts for 7 million (Mordi, 2013). However, all these conflicting figures points to the fact that the country do not have accurate and reliable data on number of arms in circulation. Retrieving these arms from criminals who use them to rob, kidnap, intimidate, or terrorize innocent citizens will remain a daunting challenge for the political class. The fact that there have been series of reported cases of arms discovery raises hopes of many. This is further illustrated in the compiled reports of cases of arms cache discoveries in table 2.

Data on Recovered Avalanche of Weapons in Nigeria from February to August 2013

With the persistence of armed robbery, oil theft, kidnapping and BH insurgency in the country, hundreds of weapons including RPGs, rocket launchers, anti-aircraft missiles, and AK 47 rifles have severally been intercepted by security operatives in different operations in various locations across many states in the country. It is widely believed that these weapons found their way to Nigeria through different sources along the borders with neighboring African states. These multiple points are said to be porous and unmanned. Nigerian Customs Service has at different times intercepted and seized arms that were illegally imported into the country. The table below shows the location, states, types of arms, incidence leading to discoveries and groups involved.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

(Source: compiled by the author)

Impact of the Asymmetric Threats on Development in Northern Nigeria

Asymmetric threats in any part of the world comes with devastating effects on the country’s economic, socio-political and even psychological growth. Crisis caused by core north-minority rivalry, religion, indigene-settlers, herdsmen-famers and most importantly, the recent BH crisis has over the years affected growth and development of the region. One of the economic implications of crisis is a fall in foreign and local investment. Hence Northern region has suffered decline in foreign direct investment (FDI) due to threats from different non state actors. This has also lowered the region’s position in development index. The sect, like other terror groups is using instrument of violence to kill and instill fears in the minds of residents of the affected states. People now live in fear without knowing who would be the next to be killed. It is this fears that has forced residents and investors out of the volatile states (Borno, Adamawa and Yobe) the epicenter of the activities of the sect. These affected areas have been crippled economically due to insecurity.


1. There is need for the Federal Government to facilitate the formulation and implementation of arms control Policy: government should as a matter of urgent national importance, articulate and implement arms recovery and control policy to checkmate arms proliferation in the country. Weapons buy-back initiative will help reduce illegal arms circulation, curtail its use and reduce threats posed to the country.
2. Federal Government of Nigeria should regularly conduct training and retraining of the military, police and civilian components in crime control: security operatives and civilians must be properly trained in modern day peace support operations and on the use of intelligence in fighting asymmetric threats.
3. Federal Government of Nigeria should properly and effectively police its borders and protect its territory from becoming a safe haven for arms dealers: Effective border policing will help check inflow of arms and ammunition into the country.
4. Federal Government to develop an effective early warning and intelligence gathering and processing: Effective intelligent gathering and making good use of early warning which is a product of information and intelligent gathering is a better way of fighting threats posed by insurgent groups.
5. Federal Government of Nigeria should, where it is not in existence, establish and deploy border and maritime guards to support the efforts of the other security agencies like: Nigerian Customs Service, Nigerian Immigration Service and Nigerian Navy in securing the border areas in the land and maritime domain. This effort will help curtail the illicit inflow of dangerious weapons into the country.
6. There is need for Government to censor media operations in the country for it to win the asymmetric threats confronting the nation: media is an instrument of warfare if managed effectively. With effective propaganda machinery projected through the media, a small army can defeat great adversaries. This is also applicable in war against insurgency. Thus, insurgent groups have rather learnt how to effectively use instruments of media to their advantage. Insurgents use media to sell their ideology and demystify government. Until Nigeria government begin to censor media report and project its activities through the same medium. Nigeria Armed Forces has established Armed Forces radio to project its activities, this is laudable but more needs to be done in using media to win insurgency war.
7 Nigeria should, in accordance with the provisions of the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms, establish a National Commission to deal with the issues of SALW proliferation. This would help to fill the gap created by inadequate legal framework to deal with issues of SALW in the country.


The number of SALW in the hands of criminals and even innocent civilians in Nigeria is alarming. There is a clear relationship between increasing and unchecked arms proliferation and sustained asymmetric threats in the country. However, to win the war on terror, war on arms proliferation must be first won. This is because the free flow of arms empowers criminals and gives them confidence to perpetrate crimes. But beyond this, government has to win the support and confidence of the citizens before the war against proliferation of arms and its associated threats could be won. To achieve this, strong institutions must be built supported with strong legal framework that would criminalize every violation and punish offenders. A holistic approach has to be adopted to curtail widespread socio-economic and political insecurity arising from unemployment, poverty and corruption among other things that produce and promote culture of violence.


Ugwumba EGBUTA is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Research and Studies, National Defence College Nigeria. He has broad research experience with special interest in foreign policy analysis, child protection, conflict management, organized crime, humanitarian intervention and gender in conflict.


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See for instance, J. Taiwo, and M. Olugbode, M. Boko Haram leader killed, Thisday, 31 July 2009, p.4; and T. Adisa, Boko Haram exposed, How sect was formed, Training details, Why it is changing tactics”, Tribune, 12 February 2012. Quoted in FC Onuoha, Terrorism: The Case of Boko Haram

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The Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons. A Nexus to Asymmetric Threats in Nigeria
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Ugwumba EGBUTA is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Research and Studies, National Defence College Nigeria. He has broad research experience with special interest in foreign policy analysis, child protection, conflict management, organized crime, humanitarian intervention and gender in conflict.
small, arms, light, weapons, nexus, asymmetric, threats, nigeria
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Ugwumba Egbuta (Author), 2019, The Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons. A Nexus to Asymmetric Threats in Nigeria, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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