BY ERIC DUMO
A former Head of State of Nigeria, Abdulsalami Abubakar, has said that there are over six million illegal weapons in circulation across the country.
Abubakar, who is Chairman of the National Peace Committee, made the disclosure during a dialogue session of the committee with key stakeholders in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said the proliferation of weapons has heightened insecurity in the country and led to over 80,000 deaths.
Abubakar further added that the challenges facing the country was not only insecurity in the narrow sense of the military definition but that it had assumed an all-encompassing nature.
He said, “The proliferation of all calibre of weapons not only in our sub-region in general and in Nigeria in particular is worrying. It is estimated that there are over six million of such weapons in circulation in the country.
“This certainly exacerbated the insecurity that led to over 80,000 deaths and close to three million internally displaced persons.
“We believe Nigeria must find a way out of these problems. Our hope is that perhaps among us, by listening to your different perspectives, we can begin to build up confidence among our people so that we can hold together.
“So our hope is that we shall not only share our collective lamentations about the current situation, but propose some concrete suggestions that can point the way forward, suggestions that can inspire more confidence among our people and ensure that our country remains one.”