How Fulani Herdsmen are Smuggling Arms into Nigeria
Spread of small arms and firearms has become an organized crime in Nigeria with Fulani Herdsmen, Niger Delta Militants and Boko Haram insurgence.
Part of border towns, most especially in the North Eastern wing of Nigeria, serve as a spot for smuggling of arms, drugs, stolen goods, contrabands and hostages by criminals.
Not long ago in Lagos state, Nigeria Custom Service intercepted a vehicle trying to traffic guns hidden inside imported security door into Nigeria with the culprits and all the customer officers involved arrested.
Of great concern is the finding that despite the efforts of security agencies, the killers continue to involve in arms smuggling and trading through secret means generally aided by the porous nature of Nigerian borders with Niger, Chad and Cameroon. A statement made by Nigerian Immigration Services stated that it had discovered hundreds of illegal routes in Nigeria that link to several neighbouring countries.
Nigeria’s borders are vast with hundreds of footpaths overlapping to adjoining countries of Chad, Cameroon and Republic of Niger with links to Sudan, Mali and Libya. By the data collected from the locals, there are more than 250 walkways from Maiduguri, Damaturu axis to Niger, Chad or Cameroon. Most of these paths are unknown to the security agencies and are not manned nor guarded and they are being used frequently by criminals to sneak in instrument of death into Nigeria.
It is so unfortunate that the Fulani Herdsmen have devised mean of smuggling arms into Nigeria through the footways. The methods they employ include the use of their cattle. The fact that the weapons are light and collapsible makes it easy to be hidden and transported with cattle. The ammunition are attached to the bellies of the cows with specially crafted skin bags majorly meant for illegal mission undetected.Also, some merchants who deal in cows and grains in the Northern part of Nigeria device means of hiding cache of arms and ammunition in vehicle engines, bags of grains and empty fuel tankers.
Nigeria security agencies should take on extra duty of tracing sources of arms and ammunition to Fulani Herdsmen, how the arms are smuggled and also taking measures to stop them. This is one of the sure ways of effectively frustrating the killing of innocent Nigerians by illegal Fulani nomads (migrants) from Mali and Senegal.
The challenge of porous borders is worsened by not enough personnel, patrol vans, surveillance helicopters and equipment making effective control of illegal migrants, smugglers and killer herdsmen from Mali and Senegal unachievable.
To adequately manage the vast Nigeria’s borders, innovative technology must be put in place. Radars and alarm systems – are main ways advanced countries use to control and protect their borders. Hi-tech radars can be used as detection sensor for long range remote surveillance boards. Blighter Radar is ideal for detecting slow moving targets, even in thick forest and mountains, making a good device for remote surveillance and detection of people and vehicles trying to cross borders illegally.
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