The Federal Government, Customs and other security agencies have to increase their surveillance. This is the third time an incident of this magnitude will be happening and these illegal arms are all coming from one country, which is Turkey. The Federal Government should engage the Turkish government, most especially their Customs organisation and they are to share intelligence in the importation of arms smuggled from one country to another. The Turkish government should collaborate with the Nigerian government to actually give us information ahead of time, if there is anything of such coming from their country. If the Turkish government is not cooperative, they should be able to either stop it or proffer us with the necessary intelligence for us to look out for such things when they are on their way. Another thing, the government should do is to stop arresting agent in charge of this because they do not know about it. The government should go for the importer of the arms and deal with them directly. Also, Customs need to step up their game by being more vigilant and work together with the country where these arms are coming from.
It is high time the Federal Government seriously looked into this.The importers of these arms should be brought to book and exposed. Most especially, the government have the power to fish the importers out but because of their selfish interest in this shady deal, they are mute. I think the government have more to answer about these arms – why are the arms imported into Nigeria and what are they meant for?
The Federal Government need to expand the scope of investigation on the seized arms.The scope of investigation on illegal imports should be expanded to include every stakeholder, including every carrier, representatives of the shipping operation, among others. It would amount to injustice to the customs officers, if investigation and action on illegal imports were limited to them only. I feel every person involved in physical examination and duly endorsed the arms should be investigated for not reporting. The Customs Comptroller-General should reward the officers who made the discovery, adding that this will go a long way in encouraging them and others to do more. Customs management need to improve on the intelligence gathering mechanism of the service. Legal laws should be made by the government so that importers who disobey trade regulations would be face the music and also the infrastructure relating to tools for trade facilitation at the ports and border routes should be strengthened to check the importation of such illegal arms.
I think the government needs to find a lasting solution to this problem. Just imagine if these riffles were able to find their ways into the hands of miscreants. What is also worrisome is that we have not seen anyone punished for the importation of these dangerous weapons in the past.However, the Federal Government need to look into cases of agitations and ethnic violence going on in several places in the country.
The government should make sure that the importers ofthese illegal arms importation should be unmasked and brought to justice by the Nigerian government. This is the only way to give citizens a sense of security.Since guns cannot be owned without a license in Nigeria, there must be a national design to mop up the weapons in the hands of criminals and politicians. All guns mopped up should be destroyed to prevent criminals from gaining access to them again.There is also need for government to deploy technology to enhance checks and scrutiny at the airport, seaport and land borders to stem tide of infiltration of illegal weapons in the country. The citizens of the country have to get maximum security which is what the government owe the people.
The Federal Government should ensure investment in screening machines. There should be diplomatic engagement of suspected countries in which the arms are being imported from. Customs should make sure there are serious intelligence unit who will endeavour to fish out all this even before coming into the country and there should be heavy penalty for the culprits.
Copyright 2017 Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.