Weapons in aikido primarily serve as a teaching tool, IMO. That said, I do not feel unduly disadvantaged in a dark alley with a broomstick or shovel handle near to hand.
why would you be in the dark alley in the first place? unless, you are there waiting to ambush aikido folks who think their weapon works can be of use in the dark alley? now that's an idea. maybe i should take my aikido weapons and head toward the nearest dark alley and waiting for you aikido folks. if you see some dude jump out at you in dark alley, and tell you that your stands are wrong and your maai sucks; that's would be me!