Jonathan set up panel on arms proliferation, the report was frightening -Bolaji Akinyemi


Bolaji Akinyemi, former minister of external affairs, says ex-president Goodluck Jonathan set up a committee on the proliferation of arms — and that the findings were “frightening”.

He said the report was never released to the public but he saw a copy due to his membership of another committee set up to look into the Boko Haram insurgency.


Akinyemi said arms and ammunition are flowing into Nigeria like it’s a “war zone”.


He said the figure of illegal arms in circulation across Nigeria is more than the six million stated by Abdulsalami Abubakar, former head of state.

On Wednesday, Abubakar had said there are an estimated six million weapons in the country. He said this while blaming the proliferation of arms for the rife insecurity in Nigeria.


Akinyemi, while speaking on Arise TV on Friday, said the number is understated and that the situation is more serious than Abubakar estimated.


He further explained the reasons for the increasing proliferation of arms across the country.


“Arms are flooding into Nigeria as if Nigeria is a war zone,” the ex-minister said.


“President Jonathan set up a task committee on this same issue and like everything else the result was classified, it wasn’t made known to the public but, because I was a member of Boko Haram committee, we got hold of the result, the content is frightening.


“The moment Libya was destabilized, arms staples were looted and then flowed down south and Nigeria, at that time with Boko Haram flexing its muscle, was regarded as a rightful platform. They [the compilers of the report] did a risk analysis of the problems of Nigeria and they knew we were headed for a turbulent future in this country.”


Akinyemi also accused the government of doing nothing to arrest the situation and its offshoot — insecurity.


He said one million officers should be recruited into the police force to improve the country’s security and provide employment opportunities.


“We’re pretty well doing nothing about it because you know if you have a problem in your home you’ll know what to do about it after you’ve done the analysis of what constitutes the problem. We still have an underpaid army,” he said.


“There’s a United Nations report on the strength of police that Nigeria needs for its population and size. We came across this in one of the task committees I served on that instead of the 340,000 plus policemen that we have that Nigeria actually needs 1 million policemen and we’re nowhere near that.”


Akinyemi added that there are many educated Nigerians who are unemployed jobs and “will gladly join the police”.

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