John, M. Tele
Department of History and International Studies,
Faculty of Arts,
University of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. P.M.B. 2084


Nwan Moses, min
National Open University, Abuja.
Correspondence: John M. Tele,

Globalization after the end of the cold war dashed the hope for international peace and security as it gives wide range of opportunities for trans-border movement, transnational crimes and proliferation of small arms and light weapons across national boundaries and within national territories. Plateau State is a victim of the proliferation of SALWs within and from without its territories. One of the major threats bedeviling Plateau State’s peace and security in the 21st century is the proliferation of small arms and light weapons. The State since 2001 has passed through several faces of conflicts and criminal activities, which have persisted till date. This paper examines the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons in Plateau State since 2001. It also examines the connection and implications of these small arms and light weapons on violent conflicts and crimes in the state. The study adopted a qualitative research design, with a historical methodology, which is based on the use of primary and secondary data. The primary data emanates from field work and oral interviews while the secondary data were collected from textbooks, journals, magazines, newspapers, electronic media and the internet. Readily available and easy to use, small arms and light weapons have been the sole tool of violence in almost all conflicts and criminal operations in Plateau State. These weapons, have taken a heavy toll on human lives, women and children accounting for more of the casualties. The findings of the study reveal that the proliferation of SALWs is an enabler for insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other crimes in Plateau State, Nigeria. The study recommends that there should be strict monitoring and surveillance of all borders by the security in Plateau State and at the larger extend Nigeria’s illegal access routes should be block. The paper concluded that the supply and demand factors of SALWs are interwoven, addressing one without the other will disproportionately exacerbate the fight on security challenges; thus stringent national arms control strategy is very important to regulate SALW proliferation.
Keywords: Globalization; Nigeria, Plateau State; Proliferation; SALWs
Nigeria as a country has undergone diverse violent conflicts; these are ethnic conflicts, religious clashes, political tensions, communal conflicts etc. The nexus between small arms and security has been established among scholars. Literature abounds on the national security challenge caused by the proliferation of small arms in Nigeria. Studying security threats and having knowledge on the proliferation of small arms and light weapon is just a bid to consider its effect on human security, especially in Plateau State, Nigeria. This stems from the fact that Plateau State has become a large market and destination accommodating trans-border arms merchants and dealers. The ineffectiveness of government policies to curtail the illicit distribution of arms and light weapons in Nigeria presents a threat to the livelihood of citizens in the country. SALW is not just a threat to the citizens’ fundamental right, it also undermines human development. The escalation of violent conflict is a show of the availability of small arms and light weapons in the hands of the perpetrators of crimes and conflict merchants. The threat to human security in Plateau State owes to the fact that Nigeria shares the three stages of the organised trafficking of small arms and light weapons in West Africa region: origin, transit and destination.1
Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs) remain the most desirable out of all categories of weapons known to man. This is as a result of the cost and handling as they are cheap, easily assessable, and easy to use as compared with heavy weapons.2 Additionally, SALWs present its users with the opportunity of variation of use. Put differently, Small Arms and Light Weapons provide users with a wide range of users including defense, etc. This is the reason behind the large number of SALWs in circulation in most parts of Nigeria including Plateau State.

7 MB

Leave a Comment