NEXUS OF ETHNO-POLITICAL CONFLICT AND PROLIFERATION OF SMALL ARMS AND LIGHT WEAPONS IN NASARAWA STATE OF NIGERIA

NEXUS OF ETHNO-POLITICAL CONFLICT AND PROLIFERATION OF SMALL ARMS AND LIGHT WEAPONS IN NASARAWA STATE OF NIGERIA

Author by Dr. Charles Akpuh

Journal/Publisher: Lapai Journal Of Humanities

Volume/Edition: 12

Language: English

Pages: 327 - 339

Abstract

Abstract

Nasarawa State is one of the most ethnically diversified states in the Nigerian
Federation. Thus, ethnic tensions over means of livelihoods have remained a
socio-political cum economic challenge since its inception. The struggle over
economic and the related political spaces by the various ethnic groups have
brought about protracted and seemingly intractable ethno-political conflict in
the state, lingering for many years, with backgrounds that even predate the
creation of Nasarawa State. Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) have been
useful tools ofinter-group violence for the intended defeat of their opponents.
The role of SALW in the conflict have sometimes made it seem to be responsible
for the conflicts. This study, therefore, undertook to highlight the link between
the conflict and the circulation of SALW in the state, using purely qualitative
methods which involved the use of secondary sources. It was discovered that
SALW and their proliferation are not the causes of the conflicts experienced in
Nasarawa State; that while access to arable land, the associated political
positions, and any other related economic resource are the main causes of the
conflict, SALWand their proliferation simply aid the persistence of the conflict.
It was concluded that while there is need to proactively control the causes of the
conflict, the circulation of SALW should be highly curtailed in the area through
the collaboration of all stakeholders in the state and Nigeria at large. It was
recommended that the national Government should work with its relevant
security agencies to strategically mop up the SALW that are already in
circulation in the state and its environs as much as possible, while collaborating
with all stakeholders to proactively reduce or even eliminating the causes of
tension between and among the ethnic groups in the state.
 


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