Department of Security Service (DSS) has blamed some elements in the army, police and other security agencies for the proliferation of illicit weapons threatening the country’s security.
The agency said other security agencies over a period had recruited people with criminal records, including former cultists and armed robbers, who are still wearing uniforms.
A director in the agency, Godwin Eteng, who made this known while appearing before the customs and excise and national intelligence committees of the House of Representatives, cited the case of weapons disappearing from the armoury of the Nigerian Army, without being burgled.
“And the question is: are we doing enough checks on our people who were recruited into security services?
“Like we had a situation where in one of the armouries belonging to one of the Armed Forces, how many pistols just got missing with quantities of ammunitions and all the pistols were new.
“In the armoury, no place was broken into, but the weapons were missing. And we’re interested in knowing what happened,” he said.
The DSS senior officer also accused some states in the North, including Nasarawa, Benue, Taraba and Plateau, of being the conduit for trafficking in small and light weapons used in conflicts in the region.
Other major source of illicit weapons, according to him, are herdsmen from Senegal, the Gambia and Central Africa Republic, who were accused of bringing AK-47 rifles into Nigeria through illegal border routes.
“When we did our studies, we discovered that three- quarter of the arms used to cause the crisis in Southern Kaduna, in Zamfara and Plateau States are coming from the following states: Nassarawa, Benue, Taraba and Plateau states.
“We found out that if you can carry out serious operations to affect the supplies which is coming from these areas, it will seriously limit part of what is happening there,” Eteng urged.Please subscribe to our newsletter