The Senator representing Osun East, Senator Francis Fadahunsi has called on the federal government to look inward and take bold steps against proliferation of arms and ammunitions.
Fadahunsi made this call in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Sam Segun-Progress, a copy of which was made available in Osogbo, the Osun state capital on Monday.
The retired Assistant Controller General of the Nigeria Customs Service disclosed that the land border closure has little impact on the smuggling of arms and ammunitions into the country.
His words, “the routes through which arms and leather weapons come into Nigeria remain unchecked and free because there is no one looking in the direction.”
He revealed that the animal market in Portiskum,Yobe State is a coverup route through which weapons are smuggled into the country “in bits but large quantities.”
“Who checks the camels, donkeys and other animals being moved in through our borders up North? Which papers do the importers of these livestock possess?” he asked.
The Deputy Chairman of the Senate Committee on Customs and Exercise said that the porous nature of Nigeria borders in the North remains a major challenge against arm struggle, followed by illegal asylum seekers.
He urged the federal government to look inward, cast some lights on the areas and beam her searchlight on foreigners from war torn countries in order to forestall dire consequences of uncontrolled ammunitions in Nigeria.
“These External Supplies can only survive when there are strong internal collaborators. External Supplies of small arms could be traced to all the porous land and water borders.
“The Malabo routes are still unmanned, Efforts by the Navy is on Rice and Petroleum products, nothing is heard of arms smuggling which is also prevalent on water routes,from Badagry,to Epe,to Warri, to Patani, Sapele, Port Harcourt , Eket,Oron to Lokoja, down to Adamawa and kebbi inland water ways,all with weak security”
The former Customs boss said , “a number of rebels run away with ammunitions from their camps looking for ready market, and Nigeria through our generosity appears to be the best destination for them.”
“If the animals were checked, and necessary control measures were put in place, the duties that would be generated would be huge and these would as well solve some of our financial needs and improve our revenue base.”
Senator Fadahunsi also implored the federal government to pay more attention to military operations across the country, saying that deserters from battlefields, particularly in the North East pose threat to the security of the nation.
He maintained that most arms and ammunitions in the possession of criminals could be traced to the ones taken away by deserters who abandoned their duty posts for fear of being killed or for greener pastures because of the alleged neglect by the military hierarchy
The senator prayed the federal government to have a thorough independent forensic audit of the nations arms and ammunition, saying:
“It is my humble appeal that the federal government set up a committee and engage in a forensic audit of our armouries to ascertain the number of missing weapons and take necessary actions against unlawful possession of firearms.”
He commended officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service for the good job they are doing despite little or no encouragement from the government. He tasked them to do more and ensure the safety of Nigeria borders so as to guarantee the security of life and properties of Nigerians.