Nigeria on the brink, Speaker Dogara raises alarm over proliferation of small arms

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Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, has raised alarm over the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the country, warning that as the 2019 elections approach, law and order may take a hit.

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Why it matters: Nigerians go to the polls from February next year to elect a new President, more than 30 governors, and federal and state lawmakers, but already violence has exploded in various parts of the country. Politicians are said to be arming themselves, not against Boko Haram in the northeast, or the deadly herdsmen in the middle belt and elsewhere, but against political opponents, election vandals from opposing camps and electoral officers not ready to help them rig.

Mr. Dogara sent the red alert when he received a delegation from Security Sector Reform of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria and Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre at his office, his spokesman Turaki Hassan, said in a statement.

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He said small arms and light weapons fuel conflicts and truncate development, and expressed deep concerns that in the build-up to the 2019 elections, violence, which is beginning to take root with the influx of these small arms and light weapons may worsen.

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