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Buhari admits border closure didn’t stop free flow of arms, ammunition

Legit logo Legit 18/03/2021 Wale Akinola
a man wearing a hat: Nigeria's president, Mohammadu Buhari, has lamented over the proliferation of arms in the country © Provided by Legit Nigeria's president, Mohammadu Buhari, has lamented over the proliferation of arms in the country

- Nigeria's president, Mohammadu Buhari, has lamented over the proliferation of arms in the country

- The president made this known on Thursday, March 18, in Aso Rock

- Buhari, however, noted that border closure could not checkmate the free flow of ammunition in Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari has admitted that despite his administration's recent closure of land borders, arms and ammunition continued flowing illegally.

The Punch reports that he attributed the problem to the situation in Libya, saying that once the country remains unstable, illegal arms and ammunition would continue to flow in the Sahel region of Africa.

Legit.ng gathered that in a statement by his special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, the president made this known on Thursday, March 17, in Aso Villa, Abuja while receiving in farewell audience the outgoing special representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohammed Ibn Chambas.

Nigeria shut its land borders in August 2019 to crack down on smuggling.

They were, however, reopened in December 2020 ahead of the January 1, 2021 implementation date of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement

The statement read:

“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.”

Buhari said Muammar Gadaffi held a grip on power in Libya for 42 years by recruiting armed guards from different countries, who then escaped with their arms when the Libyan strongman was killed.

The president said:

“They didn’t learn any other skill than to shoot and kill. So, they are a problem all over the Sahel countries today."

He described Chambas, who spent many years in Nigeria in different capacities, from ECOWAS to UN, as “more of a Nigerian than anything else.”

He wished him well in his future endeavours.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that President Buhari on Monday, March 8, said that Nigeria is concerned about the stability of its northern neighbour, Niger Republic.

It was reported that the president made the comment while receiving a report on the elections in the country from former Nigerian vice president, Namadi Sambo.

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Wale Akinola is a passionate journalist and researcher. He works as a senior political/current affairs editor at Legit.ng. He holds both B.A and Master’s degree in Communications and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan. He also holds a Diploma Certificate in Peace Journalism. He has over 15 years of work experience in both print and online media. He derives joy in keeping the public abreast of current happenings locally and internationally through his writings.

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