The territorial integrity of Nigeria is under threat by foreign invaders. The proliferation of small arms in Nigeria is a thing of worry from every concerned Nigerian. The importation of arms and ammunitions into the country are taken dramatic and terrible dimensions. The water ways to the country are also porous. Few weeks ago some Nigerians were caught entering Nigeria through Andoni River with explosive worth seven millions of naira. And on sighting the security operatives the explosives were thrown into the river.
That alone has triggered doubt in the minds of Nigerians about the duty of Nigerian Navy in the territorial waters. The federal Government has spent heavily in providing gun boats, helicopters and equipment for Nigerian Navy. And yet oil theft and importation of arms and ammunition are on the increase. Nigerians are worried the way and manner arms and ammunition flood the country.
Indeed, as Nigerians are to forget the large cache of arms discovered recently in Kano few weeks ago came another Ukrainian aircraft heavily loaded with arms in Kano. The question is must it be now that the federal Government is fighting high profile insurgence in the country? Nigerians are eagerly waiting to see the outcome of the declaration of state of emergency on the three states in the north.
The Nigerian military personnel inspected the aircraft and found out the consignment on board to be weapons. The critical scenario in the country presently does not warrant and support such sudden appearance of weapons from any part of the world. Nigerians are waiting and watching what will be the outcome of the report after the investigation and interrogation of the crew members on board the plane. It is scary at this point in time that politicians, militants, Boko Haram, and Ansaru tensions are common. The citizens of Nigeria are worried considering the level of insurgent attacks in the country. The presence of the aircraft in Kano should not be allowed to be like the ship loaded with crude oil that disappeared from the water ways without a trace.
The aircraft from Ukraine loaded with arms should be under serious surveillance to avoid disappearance. It is a serious matter. So far as Nigerian government is canvassing for foreign investors to come in for investment. There is need for serious checks on the national door ways. If the movement of arms and ammunition are not monitored and checked properly a terrible uncertainty awaits the nation. The Ukrainian aircraft loaded with arms into the country is an eye opener.
Thus, just few days ago, the federal government expressed satisfaction on the impact of the declaration of state of emergency. The progress report in one month is still under assessment and scrutiny by many Nigerians. The state of the nation is under threat of attacks by Boko Haram and other regional sects. Therefore, the territorial integrity of the nation must be protected to avoid external aggression from any angle of the world. There is need for vision to fight insecurity in the country. Often times issues confronting the nation are handled like academic matters with some so many paper presentations.
Indeed, few weeks ago about one hundred and fifty Nigerian Police contingents were sent to Mali for peace mission. It is observed that security personnel from Nigeria always perform creditably while blending with foreign counterparts. The State Security Services should embark on aggressive and proactive security surveillance of the country to fish out criminal minded people. The security challenges bedeviling the nation should not be seen as a political drama. Rather Nigerians should come together as one entity to fight the menace of armed men threatening the sovereignty of Nigeria.
Weapons are used to kill and destroy properties or facilities. And that is why it must not be condoned by any one irrespective of religious, political and tribal inclination. Indeed, this is not time to rend blame on anybody. Because security is at stake. It should be remembered that during the era of Union of Social Soviet Republic, Ukraine was known to be the area where the weaponry was located. And the presence of aircraft loaded with weapons should not be seen as child’s play. It is a serious matter that deserves prompt action without much talk to unravel the arrival of such aircraft to Nigeria. Few years ago, arms and ammunition were discovered in consignment in Lagos wharf. The arms were linked to Iran.
This is the time to improve on campaign of national consciousness and awareness. Thousands of Nigerians had been killed in recent times as a result of availability of guns and bombs in the society. Nigerians should come together despite individual differences and fight this gun running battle. The military and the Nigerian Police should not compromise or sabotage the effort of government in fighting against crimes.
The emergence of Ukrainian aircraft loaded with arms and ammunition in Kano on 16th June, 2013, calls for serious concern. More so, there is no need to make Nigeria the last destination of weapons. Nigerians need peace now more than ever before. The activities of criminal minded people must be checked to avoid escalation of crisis. Let us protect the sovereignty of the Nigerian State. ###
Frank Eneawaji Ogwuonuonu