The Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, is currently meeting heads of internal security agencies in a closed-door meeting in Abuja.
The meeting is targeted at providing solutions to the security challenges currently been experienced in the country according to reports by the News Agency of Nigeria.
Speaking before the meeting, Dambazau said the meeting was a follow-up to a meeting with state governors two weeks ago over the violent conflicts between farmers and herdsmen in Benue and other places.
“One of the issues that came up in the communiqué was the issue of the proliferation of small arms and drug trafficking and abuse.
“We also found out that these two issues are triggers to the violence taking place in this country,“he said.
“Without the fire arms and drugs, those who partake in violence would not have the courage to carry out the kind of violence taking place in this country,“ he said.
The minister, quoting the UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament, stated there were approximately 500 million assorted fire arms in West Africa and out of this figure, 350 million (representing 70 per cent) are in Nigeria.
He therefore submitted that this represented an urgent need for solution to the arms proliferation in the country.
“The situation is worsened by the insurgency in the North East because of the supply of weapons to the insurgents and terrorists there.
“Likewise the supply of weapon to the militants in the Niger Delta through exchange of stolen crude oil and supply by politicians to deal with their opponents.”
“It is very necessary for us to secure our country and of course a more challenging aspect of that which facilitate the smuggling of weapons, is our porous borders and this is a major challenge to the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and Nigeria Custom Service in particular but to all law enforcement agencies,“he said.
Dambazau further disclosed that about 5,000 kilometres of the country’s borders were porous, hence the need to secure the country and its future by controlling the the amount of weapons and drugs coming into Nigeria.
The security meeting is targeted at combating the farmers/herdsmen conflicts, kidnapping, ethno-religious crises, terrorism, armed robbery, cultism and militancy all of which according to the minister, had something to do with weapons and drugs.
The meeting had in attendance representatives of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Directorate of State Services, National Intelligence Agency, Nigeria Customs Service, and the United Nations Development Programme, among others.
A communique is expected at the end of the meeting.