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PROLIFERATION OF ARMS AND SECURITY CHALLENGES IN NIGERIA
Abstract: In Nigeria, the trade in small arms and light weapons has been on the increase since the end of the Nigerian Civil War. The trend has continued despite the illegality of the trade. The proliferation has taken a serious dimension since the begininning of the current political dispensation. As a result of this, Nigeria has faced serious security challenges. They include the Maitatsine religious riots in Kano and Bauchi; religious riots in Kaduna; conflicts in Jos, the Zango-Kataf, Yoruba- Hausa/Fulani, Ife-Modakeke, Aguleri-Umuleri, TivJunkun, Ijaw-Ilaje, Ijaw-Itsekiri, Urhobo-Itsekiri and Ijaw-Urhobo;Niger Delta crisis and of recent the Boko Haram insurgency. The perceived attack from the Fulani herdsmen in certain parts of the country are various crisis faced as a result of the proliferation. This development calls for serious attention from the states as it poses serious security challenges. the increased number of internal crises or conflicts has been subsequent to the proliferation of arms in the state, and has engendered the further proliferation of arms. Given this background the paper explores the origin of the present insurgency in Nigeria and how it has been intensified through the use of weapons that are primarily smuggled into the country.
Keywords: Proliferation, Security, Arms, Challenges.