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Border closure didn’t stop free flow of arms, ammunition — Buhari

PRESIDENT Buhari has explained why the recent closure of land borders by his administration failed to stop the illegal flow of arms and ammunition in the country.

Buhari attributed the failure of the effort to the the situation in Libya, saying that once the country remains unstable, illegal arms and ammunition will continue to flow in the Sahel region of Africa.

The President disclosed this in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina titled, ““An unstable Libya remains a problem for the Sahel region, says President Buhari.”

According to the statement, the President spoke while receiving in farewell audience the outgoing Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohammed Ibn Chambas.

The President was quoted as saying on Thursday that “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 noted that Gadaffi influence during his reign, which lasted for 42 years, cut across Africa adding that the late Libyan ruler recruited armed guards from different countries.

He, however, stressed that the recruited guards, who escaped with their arms following the death of their leader, are now terrorising the Sahel region of Africa.

“They didn’t learn any other skill than to shoot and kill. So, they are a problem all over the Sahel countries today,” the President said.

Buhari also described Chambas, who spent many years in Nigeria in different capacities, from ECOWAS to UN, as “more of a Nigerian than anything else.”

He wished him well in his future endeavours.
Nigeria shut its land borders in August 2019 to prevent smuggling of goods, particularly arms and ammunition.

They were however reopened in December 2020 ahead of the January 1, 2021 implementation date of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

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