The pan-northern socio-political group, the Arewa Consultative Forum, has raised the alarm that camels are now being used to bring into the country Rocket Propelled Grenades and anti-aircraft guns through the northern borders.
The National Chairman of the ACF, Chief Audu Ogbeh, who disclosed this in a statement he personally signed, said the weapons were being ferried into the country from neighbouring countries.
The statement was titled: ‘Our borders and insecurity’, and made available by the National Publicity Secretary of the forum, Emmanuel Yawe, in Kaduna on Thursday.
He, however, did not mention any country in particular, adding that the information was provided by ACF members from Sokoto and Zamfara states.
Nigeria, through the Sokoto and Zamfara states, shares borders with the Republic of Niger.
Ogbeh said the body found it duty bound to alert the Federal Government to the situation in order for urgent and necessary actions to be taken.
“Already, it is speculated that weapons as dangerous as Rocket Propelled Grenades and anti-aircraft guns are part of the cargo ferried by camels freely into our country from neighbouring countries,” he stated.
According to the ACF chairman, the camels bringing in the weapons are not being scrutinised by security operatives.
He added that it would do the nation a lot of good if the Federal Government could handle the situation promptly.
Ogbeh, a former Minister of Agriculture, also alleged that ransom money being paid to kidnappers was being used for illegal arm purchase.
He said, “At the last meeting of our National Executive Council in October 2020, our members, particularly from Sokoto and Zamfara, reported that large consignments of camels were crossing our borders into Nigeria with a lot of baggage on their backs on a daily basis.
“And they observed that nobody checks their baggage and nobody knows what is being brought into Nigeria.
“The question the Arewa Consultative Forum would like to ask the security agencies is what are the camels carrying and where they are heading for?
“The ACF is alarmed that this kind of situation should persist at a time when weapons of all kinds are coming into our country and worsening the climate of terror and national uncertainty.”
He added, “It is clear now from what we know that as victims pay ransoms to the kidnappers, the money is instantly converted to more sophisticated weapons and instruments of death by the kidnappers.
“The capacity of these terrorists is rising by the day and we are not far from the moment when the terrorists will become better armed than our accredited security agencies.
“The ACF wants to alert the government to this situation if they are not aware of it; and if they are aware of it, to ask what they are doing about it.
“Already, it is speculated that weapons as dangerous as Rocket Propelled Grenades and anti-aircraft guns are part of the cargo ferried by camels freely into our country from neighbouring countries.
“It will do the nation a great deal of good to deal with this situation immediately. The ACF is deeply worried.”