President Muhammadu Buhari has said the instability in Libya was responsible for the inflow of arms and ammunition into the country despite the closure of the borders for over one year. According to him, the proliferation of arms and ammunition in the Sahel region of African continent won’t stop until Libya is fixed.
The President said this yesterday at the Presidential Villa while receiving the outgoing Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohammed Ibn Chambas.
In a release by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, the President said Muammar Gadaffi held a grip on power in Libya for 42 years by recruiting armed guards from different countries, who then escaped with their arms when the Libyan strongman was killed. “They didn’t learn any other skill than to shoot and kill. So, they are a problem all over the Sahel countries today.
“We closed our land borders here for more than a year, but arms and ammunition continued to flow in 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 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. The outgoing Special Representative thanked the President for personal support he received from Buhari and Nigeria as a country, adding that the country would continue to play a leadership role on the continent. On terrorism and violent extremism in the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin area, Chambas said Nigeria was playing a yeoman’s role, particularly in giving support to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).