Religious Conflicts and Arms Proliferation in the Security Law Reform

Main Article Content

Olagoke Oluwafemi Awotayo
Olawale Olufemi Akinrinde


The relationship between small arms and light weapons, religious crises, and insecurity has continued to be a burning issue in the national security discourse in Nigeria. Religious organizations under the guise of spreading their beliefs now engage in the laundering of donations by members on acquisitions of small and arms and light weapons to protect their jurisdictions and ward off other perceived oppositions. There is no doubt that the laundering operations and arms acquisitions by religious organizations in the country are slightly different in scope and activity, although no less complex and hard to detect unless put under the searchlight. However, the effects of this are manifested in the escalation of insecurity and religious crises as evidenced in incessant killings, maiming of innocent citizens, and wanton destruction of properties in the country. This paper observes that the uncontrollable proliferation of arms fuel and prolong religious crises, and has created economic, socio-political crises and a huge burden of humanitarian cost in all facets of the polity. The paper concludes that it has become imperative to address this phenomenon as the emerging scenario no doubt continues to threaten the achievement of sustainable development goals in the country.

Article Details

How to Cite
Awotayo, O. O., & Akinrinde, O. O. (2022). Religious Conflicts and Arms Proliferation in the Security Law Reform. Journal of Law and Legal Reform, 3(1), 17-38.
Research Article
Author Biographies

Olagoke Oluwafemi Awotayo, Osun State University

Olagoke Oluwafemi Owotayo is a Lecturer at Faculty of Law Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria.  His area of expertise concerning the intersection between security studies, law and social sciences. Some of his works have been published on several journals, such as Relationship between Head of Department Leadership Styles and
Lecturers Job Satisfactions in Nigerian Public Universities (Asian Social Science, 2014).


Abuja Malgwi, Charles A. "Fraud as economic terrorism: the efficacy of the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission." Journal of Financial Crime (2004).

Adeniyi, Adesoji. The human cost of uncontrolled arms in Africa: Cross-national research on seven African countries. Oxfam, 2017.

Agbikimi, N. A. U. "Current trends in theories of religious studies: A clue to proliferation of religions worldwide." Global Journal of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences 2, no. 7 (2014): 27-46.

Alusala, Nelson. “Lessons from small arms and weapons control initiatives in Africa.” Working Paper 1 (2016).

Annan, Kofi. "UN Security Council Takes Aim at Illegal Arms Proliferation in Africa." (2003).

Aver et al, (2014) The Proliferation of Arms and its Effect on the Development of Democracy In Adetiba, Toyin Cotties. "Socio-political and economic development under threat: the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria." Greener Journal of Social Sciences 2, no.5 (2012): 179-189.

Azumah, John. "My Neighbour’s Faith." Islam explained for Christians. Nairobi: Hippobooks (2008)

Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Religion and Conflict, 1 March 1993, in Rousseau, Cécile, et al. "The complexity of determining refugeehood: a multidisciplinary analysis of the decision‐making process of the canadian immigration and refugee board." Journal of refugee studies 15, no.1 (2002): 43-70.

Egnal, Marc. "For the Reputation of Truth: Politics, Religion and Conflict among the Pennsylvania Quakers, 1750–1800 by Richard Bauman." The Canadian Historical Review 54. no.1 (1973): 93-94.

Ekpang, B. M. "For a culture of peace in West Africa." Combating the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons in West Africa: A Handbook for the Training of Armed and Security Forces (2005).

Ellis, Stephen, and Gerrie Ter Haar. "Religion and politics: taking African epistemologies seriously." The Journal of Modern African Studies 45, no.3 (2007): 385-401.

FATF (2006). Trade Based Money Laundering, FATF, Paris, France

Fox, Jonathan, and Nukhet A. Sandal. "Toward Integrating Religion into International Relations Theory." Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen (2010): 149-159.

GIABA REPORT (2013). The Nexus between Small Arms and Light Weapons and Money. GIABA. "The nexus between small arms and light weapons and money laundering and terrorist financing in West Africa." (2013).

Illegal ArmCaches Between Ghana,Togo,Benin and Nigeria. (Friedish-Ebert-Stiftung Abuja). Blum, Constanze. Cross-border flows between Nigeria and Benin: what are the challenges for (human) security?. Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Regional Office, (2014).

Malhotra, Aditi. "Globalization and the Illicit Trade of Small Arms and Light Weapons”." Eurasia Review (2011).

mutual understanding”, European Journal of International Relations, 17(1): 3–25 Sandal, Nukhet A., and Patrick James. "Religion and international relations theory: Towards a mutual understanding." European Journal of International Relations 17, no.1 (2011): 3-25.

National Security in Nigeria, Saudi Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences (SJHSS Otto, Godly, and Wilfred I. Ukpere. "National security and development in Nigeria." African Journal of Business Management 6, no. 23 (2012): 6765-6770.

National Security", African Security Review, Vol.1: No.3 p.101. Oliseh, Kadishi Ndudi. "Unipolarity, Emerging Powers, African Security and the Place of Africa in the International System 1993–2017." The Palgrave Handbook of Africa and the Changing Global Order. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, (2022). 857-871.

Oche, Ogaba. The proliferation of small arms and light weapons. Fog Ventures, A Research Project Submitted to the National War College, Abuja, (2005).

Okiro, M. "Proliferation of illegal arms and ethno-religious violence in Nigeria." Alemika, EO and Chukwuma, IC Crime and Policing in Nigeria: Challenges and Options. Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (2005).

Olamide, Sowale Adetayo, and Abiodun Temitope Emmanuel. "Proliferation of small arms and light weapons: The bane of human security in Nigeria." International Journal of Research Publication 3, no.1 (2018): 1-12.

Olasupo, Mutiullah, and Onwuagana Okafor. "Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing: Policy Implication for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) in West Africa." IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science 23, no.2 (2018): 10-18.

Olasupo, Mutiullah, and Onwuagana Okafor. "Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing: Policy Implication for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) in West Africa." IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science 23, no.2 (2018): 10-18.

Olojo, Akinola Ejodame. "Muslims, Christians and religious violence in Nigeria: Patterns and mapping (June 2006-May 2014)." IFRA-Nigeria working papers series 32 (2014).

Olojo, Akinola Ejodame. "Muslims, Christians and religious violence in Nigeria: Patterns and mapping (2006-2014)." Violence in Nigeria: A qualitative and quantitative analysis (2016): 91-110.

Onuoha, Freedom C. "Oil pipeline sabotage in Nigeria: Dimensions, actors and implications for national security." African Security Review 17, no.3 (2008): 99-115.

Onuoha, Freedom C. "Porous borders and Boko Haram’s arms smuggling operations in Nigeria." Al Jazeera Center for Studies 8 (2013).

Otite, Onigu. Ethnic Pluralism Ethnicity and Ethnic Conflict in Nigeria: (with Comparative Materials). Shaneson, (2000).

Oyedepo, Sunday Olayinka. "On energy for sustainable development in Nigeria." Renewable and sustainable energy reviews 16, no.5 (2012): 2583-2598.

Peterside, Z. B. "The impacts of proliferation of small arms and light weapons on the quest for national security in Nigeria." Saudi Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences 3, no. 7 (2018): 852-860.

Rana, Swadesh. Small arms and intra-state conflicts. No. 34. UN, 1995.

Rosenje, MusharafaOlapeju PhD, Oluwatobi Peter Adeniyi, and Temitope O. Peju-Rosenje. "Arms Proliferation, Security Challenge and Electoral Violence in the 2019 Rivers State Governorship Election." African Journal of Politics and Administrative Studies (AJPAS) 13 (2020): 2.

Salawu, Beshiru. "Ethno-religious conflicts in Nigeria: Causal analysis and proposals for new management strategies." European journal of social sciences 13, no. 3 (2010): 345-353.

Saroja, B. "Proliferation of Small Arms in South Asia: An Arc of Instability." International Journal of Social Science & Interdisciplinary Research 1, no. 12 (2012): 152-161.

Stohl, Rachel J., and Ernst Jan Hogendoorn. Stopping the destructive spread of small arms: how small arms and light weapons proliferation undermines security and development. Center for American Progress, 2010.

UNIDIR United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research Geneva, Switzerland

Ushe, Ushe Mike. "Religious Conflicts and Education in Nigeria: Implications for National Security." Journal of education and practice 6, no. 2 (2015): 117-129.

Zdanowicz, John S. "Trade-based money laundering and terrorist financing." Review of law & economics 5. no. 2 (2009): 855-878.

Zerzan, Andrew. New technologies, new risks?: innovation and countering the financing of terrorism. Vol. 174. World Bank Publications, 2009.