The nation’s media have been awash recently with photographs of large cache of arms and ammunition recovered by security agencies from the house of a suspected kidnapper in Onitsha.
It is obvious that the Onitsha discovery is just a tip of the iceberg as the great bulk of such illegal arms imported into the country are yet to be unearthed.
Even more disturbing is the sophistication of these illegal arms which culminates often in the humiliating and embarrassing situations whereby the security agencies, especially the Nigeria Police, are out-gunned and subdued by hoodlums in shoot-outs.
Again, the seeming difficulty in bringing Boko Haram anarchists to their knees by Nigeria’s security agencies is mainly due to the large quantity of modern illegal arms easily available to the group.
Intelligence reports confirm that the inflow of these arms and ammunition has increased with the fall of former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, whose defeated followers fled the North African nation with their arms to neighbouring countries in West Africa like Niger, Mauritania, Mali, and Chad.
It then becomes imperative that Nigeria must co-operate with these neighbouring countries in checking the inflow of these arms into the sub-region.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government of Nigeria must immediately rise to the challenge by restructuring the security agencies to face this worrisome menace – illegal importation of arms.
By the recent Presidential order to the Nigerian Airforce to patrol Nigeria’s northern borders, the federal government is on the right track. Attention must be paid to the other borders and sea routes from which illegal arms also flood the Nigerian nation.