The Nigerian Navy has called for concerted efforts to end the proliferation of small and medium arms in Nigeria.
Speaking during a public hearing by the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence in Abuja, the Director of Legal Services, Nigerian Navy, Commodore Jemila Malafa, said Chadian soldiers sell guns for as low as $20 (N8,200) and this endangers Nigeria’s security.
Chad shares a border with Nigeria in the North, just as Niger, Cameroon and Benin Republic are the country’s neighbours.
“Some of these countries that we have a border with have no armoury. They do not have armoury. So most of their arms that are being donated by — I don’t want to be specific — the developed countries in the name of assisting us to fight our problems — are compounding our problems in Nigeria because you find out that each average Chadian soldier has 20 to 30 arms underneath his bed,” she said.
“Since we are going to collaborate with ECOWAS and other countries that are donating such arms to these countries [African countries], I think we should insist that they should either enact laws to govern the handling of these arms and ammunition or build an armoury for these countries or else we will not see peace.
Commodore Malafa thinks a border war should be built between Nigeria and these neighbouring countries or we should have serious surveillance or “else we will not see peace in this country.”
In declaring the event open, Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, called on all stakeholders to make good use of the opportunity for the good of the country’s security.
The Chief of Air Force Intelligence, Air Commodore Friday Ogohi, lamented that fertilisers were being sold to “unscrupulous persons who use the chemical substance locally as explosive materials to manufacture IEDs.”
The hearing was organised by the committee to take the input of the public on four bills on national security.
The bills are A Bill to Establish the National Commission Against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons; A Bill to Make Provision for the Integration of Private Closed Circuit Television (CCTV); A Bill to Repeal the Explosives Act, and A Bill to Designate the Month of November as the National Appreciation for Security Agencies Month.