By Godfrey Bivbere
A group, under the aegis of African Maritime Development Initiative (AMDI), has called on the Federal Government to set up a panel to investigate the large scale of arms influx into the country.
AMDI in a statement made available to Vanguard, noted that the call became imperative due to the recent discovery of an Hezbollah ammunitions cache in Kano uncovered in other parts of the country.
The statement signed by AMDI Director General, Elder Asu Beks, read, in part, “AMDI wishes to draw the attention of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration to this worrisome trend and urges him to investigate disturbing news making the rounds of the possible connivance of some officials of a Para-military service, whose duty is to ensure that illegal items are not smuggled into the country.
“We therefore advise the Federal Government to constitute an investigative panel comprising officials of the Department of Military Intelligence (DMI), State Security Service (SSS), the Navy, Nigerian Ports Authority (NP) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), to investigate imports made through our airports, seaports and land border posts.”
The group also pointed out that the government of the United States of America (USA) has also expressed a similar concern through the United States Coast Guard to its m ission in Nigeria, and therefore charged the Federal Government to be more pro-active on security challenges facing the ports or risk sanctions which include stoppage of US vessels and that of its Allied coutries from sailing to Nigeria.
The group similarly “endorsed the pragmatic manner in which President Goodluck Jonathan enforced the state of emergency across the Northern states of Yobe, Adamawa and Bornu in the wake of heightened Boko Haram activities.
“We also commend the military Joint Task Force (JTF), for their display of professionalism in bringing the civilian casualties to the barest minimum. In addition, we task the Governors of the three concerned states to cooperate with the National Assembly, the Presidency and the JTF to ensure a speedy resolution to the crisis in the region and a return to normalcy,” the statement concluded.