Navy debunks officer’s allegation against Chadian troops

Chief of Naval Staff Awwal Gambo

The Nigerian Navy says comments made by Commodore Jemila Abubakar during the public hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence do not reflect its position.

Representing the chief of naval staff Awwal Gambo at the hearing, Abubakar had said arms donated to some African countries end up in Nigeria.

According to her, some Chadian army officers sell the guns in black market for as low as $20 when they are broke.

The navy, however, countered her statement in a press release on Tuesday signed by navy spokesman Commodore Suleman Dahun.

The statement said although Abubakar presented the position of the navy on the proposed Act, her comments on small arms trafficking were unauthorised and personal.

“During the hearing on this bill, the representative of the Nigerian Navy duly presented the position of the Service on the proposed Act but went ahead to make some unauthorised, personal comments on the issue of trans-national trafficking of small arms and light weapons,” part of the statement read.

“This is as it relates to neighbours with which Nigeria maintains robust diplomatic security relationships/collaborations; a personal opinion that is at variance with the position of the NN.

“The NN wishes to categorically dissociate itself from the view of the senior officer. The NN appreciates the indelible contributions of our regional partners/neighbours in the fight against small arms and light weapons trafficking.

“Pertinently, effective and sustained regional cooperation towards ensuring maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea is a key priority of the NN.

“Against this background, the Service acknowledges the regional security efforts of our neighbouring countries within the existing frameworks of bilateral and multilateral cooperation and commits to working assiduously to strengthen these arrangements.”