The Nigerian Navy has called for drastic measures against neighbouring countries as part of measures to end the proliferation of small and medium arms in Nigeria.
One of the stiff options is the building of walls along the Nigerian land borders or compelling those countries to enact strong gun regulation laws.
A Navy Commodore, Jemila Abubakar, stated this on Monday at the public hearing by the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence in Abuja.
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 Close 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.
Ms Abubakar, who represented the Chief of Naval Staff, Awwal Gambo, at the hearing, said arms donated to some African countries end up in Nigeria, adding that some Chadian army officers sell guns in the black market for as low as $20 when they are broke.
Nigeria shares border with Niger and Chad on in the North, Cameroon in the East and Benin Republic in the West.
She noted that most of these countries don’t not have armoury to keep the guns donated to them.
“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 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. When he is broke, he brings it out and sells it for 30 dollars, 20 dollars. I am here, I am standing here, and I am saying it.
“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.”
While reacting to the bill to establish the integration of private close circuit television (CCTV) to fight insecurity, the naval officer made a case for border wall, noting that it is the only option to peace in Nigeria.
“I think we should build a wall between us and these neighbouring countries or we should have serious surveillance or else we will not see peace in this country. I am telling you this, I have been in that area for years, so I know what is happening,” Ms Abubakar said.
While declaring the event opened, the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila urged the committee to ensure thet submissions of stakeholders were taken into consideration.