Chinazor Megbolu |
The Federal Government of Nigeria has said that smuggling of illegal arms and ammunition into African countries will persist despite all effort in the past to checkmate it.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, while receiving the outgoing special representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, disclosed that if Libya remains unstable, smuggling of illegal arms and ammunition will continue to flow into the Sahel region of the African continent.
The countries under the Sahel region are; Nigeria, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Niger, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia.
The President in a statement signed and issued by the Presidential Spokesman, Femi Adesina, noted the closure of the nation’s land borders for over a year couldn’t stop the influx of illegal arms into the country.
Buhari, in the statement, said ex-Libyan President, Muammar Gadaffi, held a grip on power in Libya by recruiting armed guards from different countries, who then escaped with their arms when “the Libyan strongman was killed”.
“They didn’t learn any other skill than to shoot and kill. So, they are a problem all over the Sahel countries today.
“We closed our land borders here for more than a year, but arms and ammunition continued to flow illegally. As far as Libya remains unstable, so will the problem remain.
“We have to cope with the problems of development, as we can’t play hop, step and jump. But we will eventually overcome those problems,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Chambas used the opportunity to thank President Buhari for the support accorded him by the presidency and Nigeria as a country.
He, however, posited that Nigeria will continue to play a leadership role on the African continent.
Chambas further averred that Nigeria was playing a yeoman’s role by particularly lending support to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF)
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