President Muhammadu Buhari says Libya’s instability is the cause of illegal arms flow in Nigeria.
President Buhari has said as far as Libya remains unstable, illegal arms and ammunition will continue to flow into Nigeria and other countries in the Sahel region. Adding that the closure of Nigeria’s land borders for almost one year did not stop the inflow of arms and ammunition into the country.
The president expressed his concern about security in Nigeria and the Sahel during a meeting in Abuja on Thursday, with the outgoing special representative of the United Nations secretary-general and head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohammed Ibn Chambas.
North-West governors also met in Abuja over the rising insecurity in the north. Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has charged states to evolve mechanisms for securing forest reserves, which fall under their purview, and have been turned into bandits’ enclaves.
Establishing a link between the ongoing insecurity in the Sahel and Libya, Buhari said the late president Muammar Gadaffi held a firm 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.
He said: “the armed guards didn’t learn any other skill than to shoot and kill. So, they are a problem all over the Sahel countries today.
“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 while describing Chambas, who spent many years in Nigeria in different capacities, from Ecowas to UN, as “more of a Nigerian than anything else,” wished him well in his future endeavours.
Chambas thanked the president “for personal support i received from you, and from Nigeria as a country,” adding that the country will continue to play a leadership role on the continent.
On terrorism and violent extremism in the Sahel and the lake chad basin area, Chambas said Nigeria was playing a yeoman’s role, particularly in supporting the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
In an interview with Arise News, Channel, Thisday broadcast arm, Buhari had in January 2019 blamed Gaddafi’s henchmen for terrorism in Nigeria.
According to him, the bandits who escaped from Libya after the death of their leader in 2011 took to terrorism, with Nigeria and some other african countries bearing the brunt.
Gaddafi, who led Libya for decades, was killed on October 20, 2011, during the battle of Sirte.
“The Nigerian cattle herder use to carry nothing more than a stick, but these are people with ak-47 and people refuse to reflect on the demise of Gaddafi.
“Gaddafi for 43 years in Libya, at some stage, he decided to recruit people from Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, from the ceNtral African Republic and these young chaps are not taught to be bricklayers, electricians, plumbers or any trade but to shoot and kill.
“So, when the opposition in Libya succeeded in killing him, they arrested some and they did what they did to them. The rest escaped with their weapons and we encounter some of them in the north-east and they are all over the place now organizing attacks,” Buhari said in the exclusive interview with arise news channel.
Also while speaking with the archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in April 2018, Buhari had said arms Gaddafi provided to his supporters had filtered into Nigeria and were being used to fuel killings in the north-central.
“The problem is even older than us,” Buhari said of killings.
“it has always been there, but now made worse by the influx of armed gunmen from the Sahel region into different parts of the west African sub-region.
“These gunmen were trained and armed by Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. When he was killed, the gunmen escaped with their arms. We encountered some of them fighting with Boko Haram,” Buhari had said.
Twitter Bows To Nigerian Govt, Agrees To Open Office In Nigeria
Just as the Nigerian has promised to lift the suspension on Twitter operations in Nigeria, the Federal Government has on Wednesday said that the micro blogging patform has agreed to open its office in Nigeria in 2022.
Disclosing this, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed told State House correspondents at the end of the virtual Federal Executive Council, FEC explaining that the federal government’s engagement with Twitter has been extremely positive without any acrimony.
Mohammed said “We have made it clear what we want from Twitter. The end for amicable resolution is very much in sight.
According to Daily Post, the minister added ‘We appreciate the patience of Nigerians. I want to assure you that we have made very tremendous progress. We have met with Twitter both physically and in writing. We are actually almost there.
He said Twitter have shown a lot of flexibility and has agreed to open office in the country in 2022.
Reps Oppose FG’s Plan To Allow Firemen Bear Arms
The house of representatives has also opposed the plan to allow fire fighters to carry arms. The lawmakers say the Federal Fire Service is a civil outfit and not a security agency, and does not require arms to carry out its duties.
They say some mob attacks on firefighters are usually caused by frustration on the part of victims when firefighters arrive late and are ill-prepared to avert emergencies.
The house believes instead of creating an arms squad of the Federal Fire Service, adequate resources should be channeled into improving the service delivery of the federal fire service, including the provision of fire hydrants in every local government area and updating the global positioning system service of the federal fire service to locate emergency scenes swiftly.
The members say they are worried that equipping the Federal Fire Service with arms would add to the growing concerns about the reckless use of arms by the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies.
Lawmakers Suspend Media Regulation Debate Amid Uproar
Nigerian lawmakers have suspended deliberations on new laws to regulate the media. The sponsor of the controversial Nigeria Press Council (NPC) and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) amendment bills, Segun Odebunmi, who is also the chairman of the house committee on information, national orientation, ethics and values, said the reprieve would avail the lawmakers time for proper consultations over the bill , and so, on Tuesday the house has agreed to suspend the bills.
The bills have been resisted by Nigerians, including a media solidarity on Monday calling for the bills to be thrown out. Media groups called it draconian and what they call an extension of the existing censorship on broadcast stations, but the lawmakers said it was aimed at oiling the machineries of the press for optimum performance.
Ran with the caption ‘information blackout,’ on the front page of many national dailies of Monday and Tuesday as well as television chyron and lead graphics on online media.
“it’s not just against the media,” the advertorial read. “it is about society’s right to know, your right to be heard.”
The groups saw the bills as an extension of the existing censorship on broadcast stations, which are often ordered to stop airing programmes the government feels displeased with and slammed with heavy fines at will when there is an alleged breach.
On one hand, the Nigeria Press Council (NPC) empowers the president to appoint the chairman of the board of the council as well as other members of the board upon the recommendation of the information minister.
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