President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday called for the cooperation of regional leaders in curbing the illegal flow of arms into the country.
The President made this call while participating at the Extraordinary Session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) in Chad Republic.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari regretted the illegal flow of small arms to Nigeria.
“President Muhammadu Buhari Saturday arrived in N’Djamena, the Chadian capital seeking wider cooperation to among countries of Sahel and Saharan regions to counter the infiltration of small arms to Nigeria, flowing into the hands of militia forces, bandits and insurgents who are becoming a threat to human rights and internal security,” the statement read in part.
Buhari noted that the Federal Government “has been working in the last few years to stem the widespread availability of small arms and light weapons making their way into Nigeria.”
According to him, the “very disturbing recent developments” have impelled the administration to seek support from a wider circle of countries if the illegal inflows are to be curtailed.
The President who was received by the host President, Idris Derby, also used the opportunity of his visit to discuss the problems of irregular migration, trafficking in persons, especially of women and children.
The Nigerian leader also ordered the “reinvigoration of our nation’s interest, approved the payment of the backlog of unpaid funds and for a speedier work on the processes of the ratification of the treaty binding the members of the organization.”
While in Chad, Buhari is expected to press for the protection of the well-being of the large population of Nigerians living both legally and illegally in Libya, which is the host country of the CEN-SAD Secretariat.