A group in northern Nigeria, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has said ransoms being paid to kidnappers are converted to acquire sophisticated weapons and instruments of death by the kidnappers alleging that camels are being used to carry deadly weapons into the country.
“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,” Audu Ogbeh, national chairman of ACF said in a statement.
He noted that weapons are being imported from a neighbouring country through Sokoto and Zamfara states.
Mr Ogbeh, a former minister of agriculture said some of the weapons being ferried into Nigeria include rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) and anti-aircraft guns, adding that security operatives do not check the cargoes.
“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,” he said.
“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 if this kind of situation should persist at a time when weapons of all kinds are coming into our country it will worsen the climate of terror and national uncertainty.
“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.”
The forum called on the government to deal with the situation immediately.