The Nigerian Navy has said the comment made by Commodore Jemila Sadiq Abubakar about some soldiers from the Republic of Chad, one of Nigeria’s neighbours, selling their weapons to willing buyers when they lack money is her personal opinion and not that of the service.
The Navy made the rebuttal in a statement issued by Suleman Dahun, the naval spokesperson, on Tuesday.
Abubakar had while representing Awwal Gambo, the Chief of Naval Staff, said this at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives committee on national security and intelligence on Monday said the weapons donated by developed nations to some neighbouring nations to Nigeria is fuelling the banditry and insurgency wars the Nigerian military is battling in the North-West and North-East regions of the country.
According to her, some of the neighbouring countries do not have armouries to store the weapons donated by foreign powers, thereby providing an opportunity for such countries’ security operatives to sell them off when they are “broke”, thereby facilitating arms proliferation.
But reacting, the Navy said the senior officer made “unauthorised, personal comment” which is at variance with the stance of the service.
The statement read: “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 Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (HB 10).
“During the hearing on this Bill, the representative of the Nigerian Navy (NN) duly presented the position of the Service on the proposed Act but went ahead to make some unauthorized, 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/collaborations; a personal opinion that is at variance with the position 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/neighbours in the fight against small arms and light weapons trafficking.
“Pertinently, effective and sustained regional cooperation towards ensuring maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea is a key priority of the NN.
“Against this background, the Service acknowledges the regional security efforts of our neighbouring countries within the existing frameworks of bilateral and multilateral cooperations and commits to working assiduously to strengthening these arrangements.”
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