The Nigerian Navy has denied a claim made by one of its senior officers, Commodore Jamila Sadiq Abubakar, who accused Chadian soldiers of selling arms illegally.
Abubakar on Monday, said arms donated to some African countries ended up in Nigeria, adding that some Chadian army officers sold guns in the black market for as low as $20 when they were broke.
She disclosed this at the public hearing by the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence in Abuja.
The hearing was organised by the committee to take the input of the public on four bills on national security.
Nigeria shares border with Niger and Chad on in the North, Cameroon in the East and Benin Republic in the West.
She noted that most of these countries don’t not have armoury to keep the guns donated to them.
“I was in charge as a member of the fight against Boko Haram and I can tell you categorically here, I stand to be corrected, that some of these countries that we have borders with have no armoury.
“They do not have armoury. So most of their arms that are being donated by — I don’t want to be specific — the developed countries in the name of assisting us are compounding our problems in Nigeria because you find out that each average Chadian soldier has 20 to 30 arms underneath his bed. When he is broke, he brings it out and sells it for $30, $20. I am here, I am standing here, and I am saying it.”
But in a statement on Tuesday, the Navy spokesperson, Suleman Dahun, said the view of the officer did not reflect the position of the Navy.
“The House of Representative Committee on National Security and Intelligence yesterday 27 September, 2021 held a public hearing on 4 Bills including the Bill for an Act to establish the National Commission against the proliferation of small arms and light weapons (HB 10). During the hearing on this bill, the representatives of the Nigerian Navy (NN) duly presented the position of the personal comments on the service on the proposed act but went ahead to make some unauthorised, personal comments on the issue of trans-national trafficking of small arms and light weapons.”
“This is as it relates to neighbours with which Nigeria maintains robust diplomatic security relationships/collaboration, a personal opinion that is at variance with the person of the NN.
“The NN wishes to categorically dissociate itself from the view of the senior officer. The NN appreciates the indelible contributions of our regional partners and neighbours in the fight against small arms and light weapon trafficking.”