Umbrella Northern socio-political group, the Arewa Consultative Forum, has cried out that camels are now being allegedly used to smuggle into the country “Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs)” and “anti-aircraft guns” through the borders in the region.
ACF National Chairman, Chief Audu Ogbeh, who raised the alarm in a statement he personally signed, alerted that the weapons were being brought into the country on camels from a neighbouring country.
The statement titled, ‘Our borders and insecurity,’ released by the Forum’s National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, in Kaduna on Thursday, however, did not identify any particular country.
It only said that the information on the matter was provided by ACF members from Sokoto and Zamfara states, which share borders with the Republic of Niger.
Ogbeh said that the ACF felt duty-bound to alert the Federal Government for urgent and necessary actions.
“Already, it is speculated that weapons as dangerous as Rocket Propelled Grenades RPGs, and anti-aircraft guns are part of the cargo ferried by camels freely into our country from neighbouring countries,” he said.
The ACF chairman alleged that the camels bringing in the consignments of dangerous weapons were not being checked by security operatives.
He said that the prompt response and action by the Federal Government would do the nation a lot of good.
Ogbeh, who is a former Minister of Agriculture, also alleged that ransom money being paid to kidnappers were being used for illegal arms purchase.
The ACF chairman said, “At the last meeting of our National Executive Council, NEC, 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 Arewa Consultative Forum would like to ask the security agencies is what are the camels carrying and where they are heading?
“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.
“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 terrorist will become better armed than our accredited security agencies.
“The ACF wants to alert the government about 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 RPGs, 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.”