Nigerian leader slams arms dumping
NIGERIA: Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday denounced the dumping of small ar ms and light weapons in Africa by developed countries, calling it one of the major causes of underdevelopment in the continent.
Jonathan, who is scheduled to speak to the G8 summit on its Millenium Development Goals, told journalists he would raise his concerns with world leaders, calling arms proliferation “one of the things that disturb me most”.
“The excessive dumping of small arms and light weapons in Africa is one of the major factors that retard the eco- nomic growth of the continent,” he said. “They are manufactured by the developed societies but dumped in Africa and they have become a major source of our own underdevelopment.”
Jonathan said the “excessive and free use of small ar ms and light weapons” had become so prevalent in southern Nigeria that the commercial city of Aba “was almost closed down for weeks without economic activities”.
“That tells you that in a place where you don’t have peace, you can’t have economic activities that can stimulate wealth creation,” Jonathan said.
He linked the spread of such weapons to political instability as well.
“That is why you see a lot of military organisations struggling to topple governments in Africa,” Jonathan said.
“Where the governments are relatively stable, they use them (weapons) for criminal activities like piracy, transborder crimes, armed robberies, and causing general insecurity, and even kidnappings.
“If these things are allowed to continue, then of course, economic development of Africa will continue to recede instead of advancing.” – Sapa-AFP