The Nigerian Navy has distanced itself from Commodore Jamila Sadiq Abubakar, who accused Chadian soldiers of selling arms illegally.
Abubakar made the allegation at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence.
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While making a contribution to the bill seeking to establish the National Commission Against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons, Abubakar had said the weapons donated by developed countries to neighbouring nations are “compounding” Nigeria’s security challenges.
She said the lack of armouries in some of the neighbouring countries makes arms available to their security operatives who in turn sell it off when they are “broke”.
“I was in charge as a member of the fight against Boko Haram and I can tell you categorically here, I stand to be corrected, that some of these countries that we have borders 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 are compounding our problems in Nigeria because you find out that each 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 am here, I am standing here, and I am saying it.”
But in a statement on Tuesday, Suleman Dahun, spokesman of the Nigerian Navy, said the view of the officer did not reflect the position of the Navy.
“The House of Representative Committee on National Security and Intelligence yesterday 27 September, 2021 held a public hearing on 4 Bills including the Bill for an Acts to establish the National Commission against proliferation of small arms and light weapons (HB 10). During the hearing on this bill, the representatives of the Nigerian Navy (NN) duly presented the position of the personal comments on the service on the proposed act but went ahead to make some unauthorized, personal comments on the issue of trans-national trafficking of small arms and light weapons.”
“This is as it relates to neighbors with which Nigeria maintains robust diplomatic security relationships/collaboration, a personal opinion that is at variance with the person of the NN.
“The NN wishes to categorically dissociate itself from the view of the senior officer. The NN appreciates the indelible contributions of our regional partners/Neighbors in the fight against small arms and light weapon trafficking.”