How soldiers sell arms to survive in North East, by naval officer

A Naval officer, Commodore, Jamila Malafa, yesterday, relived how soldiers deployed for the anti-insurgency fight in the North East sell arms to survive. She also accused Western nations of fuelling terrorism in the region.

Malafa said the amount of ammunition supplied to Nigeria as an aid for counter-terrorism war was a “deliberate act to worsen the situation, as soldiers, who become financially broke sell the arms at their disposal cheaply to survive.”

Speaking at the public hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence in Abuja that is considering four bills geared at tackling the worsening insecurity in the country, the naval official accused foreign nations of sustaining terrorism in Nigeria.

Stating that she has spent a long time in the troubled zone fighting the Boko Haram sect, Malafa insisted: “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.”

“Besides, she suggested the building of 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 Jamila, Nigeria’s neighbours’ lack of armouries is encouraging the menace.

The House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, who declared the event open, clarified that two of the bills were referred 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 added.

Gbajabiamila welcomed submissions from security agencies and other stakeholders, just as he underscored the fact that security “is about everyone and not the security agencies alone.”

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