*How new CSOs group call on Senate to pass bill on recovery of arms ahead of February presidential election.*
As the nation awaits the January 16,2019 resumption date of plenary by National Assembly after its Xmas and New year recess, a coalition of Civil Society Organizations under the leadership of Mallam,Suleiman Abubakar has appealed to the leadership of the Senate to fast track the passage of the Bill on National Commission on recovery of small arms and ammunition ahead of the February general election.
The Bill on the recovery of small arms and ammunition which was initiated by the Director General, National Taskforce on recovery of small arms and ammunition,Chief Emmanuel OKEREKE, Importers Association of Nigeria and sponsored Senator Sulieman Nazif( Bauchi North)has since been passed by the House of Representatives and was listed for passage to second reading on the floor of the Senate before it proceeded on Xmas and New year recess.
It would be recalled that on December 7, 2017 The Economic community of West Africa ( ECOWAS) gave Nigeria a mandate to pass this Bill into law, which was published by the Leadership Newspaper on December 7,2017 and after that nothing was done by Nigeria to honour the directives,adding that there was a second reminder on February 8,2017 by the same subregional organization giving Nigeria an ultimatum to pass the Bill into law within three weeks and yet our country couldn't honour that directives and now it is one year that Nigeria has not deemed it fit to comply with the order.
"This Law has been in existence in 14 countries except in Nigeria and The Gambia. "The initiators of the Bill are asking for the rectification of the Bill and passing it into law just like other member nations of the subregion have done.
"The Bill has been delayed for about six years in the National Assembly begging for passage," he noted.
Making this appeal while speaking to journalists in Abuja yesterday, Abubakar called on the leadership of the Senate, headed by the Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki to expedite action on the passage of the Bill into law ahead of the forthcoming general election.
"Information reaching us shows that some politicians have already acquired arms and Ammunitions to be given to the youth during the forthcoming general election in addition to sewing Police / Army Uniforms for these youth but if these youths are given the opportunity to serve under this commission before February general election,they would not fall prey to the evil machinations of desperate politicians and this is why we want the bill to be passed by the National Assembly and assented to by Mr president before the election date.
"This bill will attract foreign investors into the country, guarantee safety of lives and property of the citizenry, eradicating all forms of criminality in the country including kidnapping, rape and killings in parts of the country, it will also provide massive employment to our jobless youths and also generate revenue to the government.
"As I am talking to you we are working with retired Army generals, Navy and Air Force senior officers in addition to high ranking Police officers. They all join hands in providing useful training to the newly recruited personnel of the commission," he added.
Abubakar further disclosed that part of the provisions in the Bill is the provision of employment to about 350 jobless youth in each of the 774 local government areas in the country and also help to restore security to the grass root villages and communities.
The coalition called on the Deputy Senate President, IKE Ekweremadu, Senate leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan, chief Whip, Shola Adeyeye, Senators Shehu Sani, Moa Ohuabunwa, Dino Melaye, Sam Anyanwu, Mohammed Ndume, Stella Oduah, Sam Egwu, Kabiru Marafa, Godswill Akpabio among others to facilitate the passage of the Bill for good governance,peace and security of the country.