Abdulsalami Abubakar, the former Head of State and Chairman of the National Peace Committee, said on Wednesday that there are around six million illegal weapons circulating in Nigeria.
He made the remarks at an NPC meeting with the Nigerian Guild of Editors.
The meeting’s attention was on finding solutions to Nigeria’s insecurity.
According to Abdulsalami, the proliferation of illegal weapons has played a significant role in the country’s current insecurity climate.
“The proliferation of calibre of weapons not only in our sub-region, but in general, and in Nigeria in particular, is worrying,” he said.
“It is estimated that over six million of such weapons are in circulation in our country. This certainly aggravated the insecurity and led to over 80,000 deaths and also we have close to three million internally displaced persons.”
Air Marshal Alamin Daggash, a former Chief of Defence Staff, said security officials must be better prepared to fight crime around the federation.
“In those days, we used to train for something like 18 months to two years,” he said. “Today, some of these young people are trained for only six months. And I think that is inadequate.”
Aliko Dangote, a billionaire industrialist and member of the NPC, proposed that security operatives be given more support.
“There is no way for us to continue with this sort of thing while we are underfunding the police, the military,” he said. “We are also asking them to go and recruit, so when they recruit, where are they going to find the money to pay?”
According to a page on the NPC’s website, it was created in 2014 in response to “emerging threats occasioned by the 2015 general elections.”
Its members include Bishop Mathew Kukah of the Sokoto Diocese, as well as other prominent Nigerians.