Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has revealed that he has sponsored a bill that seeks to eliminate the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
Speaking on Tuesday when he received a delegation from Security Sector Reform of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria and Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, He said violence is beginning to take root ahead the 2019 general elections.
Dogara said: “Elections happen in virtually all governments, but not all elections are democratic. We are talking about promoting democratic elections; these democratic elections have some criteria: they are supposed to be fair and free, they are supposed to be inclusive, and they are supposed to be periodic. Where you hold elections in an environment of intimidation and violence; it cannot be free and fair.
“Once it is not free and fair, it therefore means it doesn’t pass the criteria of a democratic election. So that’s the challenge, and the truth is that there is no corruption that is more than truncating the will of the people through elections into government positions.
“This is because that is the essence of representative governance, as the people have elected their representatives and it is those representatives that they have elected and having taken positions in government that can deliver the goods.
“We are aware of the fact that if this Bill is quickly translated into Law, as we are running into the 2019 general elections, if we are able to set up this Commission, we will combat this illicit dealing in weapons of war. We will be able to provide a very conducive environment for the 2019 elections to take place.”