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Nigerian Navy distance self from officer accusing Chadian soldiers of selling arms

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THE Nigerian Navy have distanced self from Jamila Sadiq Abubakar, who accused Chadian soldiers of selling off arms illegally.

Naval Spokesperson Suleman Dahun, in a statement on Tuesday, said the views expressed by the officer did not reflect the position of the Navy.

The statement referred to the allegations made by Abubakar as ‘personal comments,’ saying she was not authorised to speak on the matter.

“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 Acts 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 transnational 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/Neighbors in the fight against small arms and light weapon trafficking.”

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Abubakar had, while representing the Chief of Naval Staff Awwal Gambo at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence on Wednesday, said weapons donated by developed countries to neighbouring nations were compounding Nigeria’s security challenges.

While making a contribution to the bill seeking to establish the National Commission Against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons, she said the lack of armouries in some of the neighbouring countries made arms available to their security operatives who, in turn, sold them off when they were ‘broke.’

“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,” she said.

SIPRI had reported that weapons were delivered in large numbers to Chad between 1999 and 2008 from countries, including Ukraine, France, Libya, Belgium, China, the USA, Israel, Switzerland, Serbia and Portugal.

SIPRI report also noted that the rebel forces in Chad had received a large amount of arms and ammunition from Sudan and from the rest of the region.

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