A Nigerian Naval officer, Commodore Jamila Malafa, has accused some soldiers deployed to the North-East in the anti-insurgency fight, of selling arms to insurgents to survive.
Malafa who appeared before a public hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence in Abuja on Monday, also accused Western nations of fuelling terrorism in the region by supplying weapons to both governments and the terrorists.
Malafa who claimed to have served in the theater of operation for many years, told the committee members that the amount of ammunition supplied to Nigeria by foreign countries for the counter-terrorism war was just a “deliberate act to worsen the situation, as soldiers, who become financially broke sell the arms at their disposal cheaply to survive.”
The public hearing was put together by the committee while considering four bills geared at tackling the worsening insecurity in the country.
The naval official who accused foreign nations of sustaining terrorism in Nigeria while making her submission, said:
“The foreign nations supplying arms to this country to fight insurgency are not sincere.
“They make these arms available in excess to the soldiers fighting this war. One soldier sleeps on over 30 ammunitions, and anytime he is broke, he brings them out and sells between $20 and $30.
“I will suggest to this committee to consider building a wall on Nigeria’s borders with its neighbours in the region as a measure towards stopping the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the country.”
According to her, most countries sharing Nigeria’s borders lack armouries, which is encouraging the menace.
In his remarks on Malafa’s submission, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said two of the bills being considered were referred to the committee by President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that all proposed pieces of legislation were to make the country a safer and better place where Nigerians could live without fear of molestation and victimisation.
“Therefore, these bills are a priority for the House of Representatives. We will consider them thoroughly and with due haste.
“And we will engage with stakeholders and citizens alike to make sure that these bills in their final form serve their purpose,” he said.