The Chief of the Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, Monday urged the Federal Government to build walls across the country’s borders and put serious surveillance in place to curb the inflow of weapons into the country.
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He said without these measures, there would be no peace in the country.
He spoke in Abuja at a public hearing on four security-related bills conducted by the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence.
Represented by Commodore Jamila Abubakar Sadiq, the naval chief said developed were contributing to proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the country as the weapons they donated to Nigeria’s neighbours, with no armories, were ending up in wrong hands.
He said: “I was in charge as member of fight against Boko Haram and I can tell you categorically and I stand to be corrected that some of these countries we have borders with have no armoury.
“They do not have armouries. So, most of their arms that are being donated by the developed countries in the name of assisting us to fight our problems are compounding our problems in Nigeria because you find out that the average Chadian soldier has 20 to 30 arms underneath his bed. When he is broke, he brings it out and sells it for $30, $20.
“I’m here, I’m standing here and I’m saying it. Since we’re going to collaborate with ECOWAS and other countries that are donating such arms to these countries, I think we should insist that they either enact laws to govern the handling of these arms and ammunition or build armouries for these countries or else, we would not see peace.
“The CCTV we’re advocating, in my opinion, even though they say even the Berlin wall has been knocked down, I think we should build walls between us and these neighbouring countries or we should have a serious surveillance or else, we would not see peace in this country, I’m telling you this. I’ve been in that area for years, so I know what is happening.”
Also speaking, the Defence Intelligence Agency said local blacksmiths were actively fabricating sophisticated weapons.
In his submission for the DIA, Air Commodore F. G. Okoyi said blacksmiths had perfected their skills to manufacture assorted and sophisticated rifles such as AK 47, revolvers, pistols, improvise explosive devices among others.
He said activities of scrap metal scavengers should also be closely monitored and manufacture and distribution of fertilizer be controlled to check illegal production of explosives.
He added: “The frequent demand for fertilizers has rapidly led to increase in establishment of illegal fertilizer companies especially in the northern part of the country.
“Fertilizers are being sold to unscrupulous persons who use the chemical substance locally as explosive materials to manufacture IEDs capable of destroying, incapacitation and massive loss of lives.”