Navy disowns comment of most senior female officer on Chadian soldiers

The Nigerian Navy has disowned a statement made by one of its officers, Commodore Jamila Abubakar Malafa, indicting Chadian soldiers, who she claimed ‘sell arms when broke’.

Malafa, an international maritime lawyer and the first female Commodore in the history of the Nigerian Navy spoke on Monday at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives committee on national security and intelligence on the consideration of four security bills.

Representing Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, at the public hearing, Commodore Malafa said some of the weapons donated by developed countries to neighbouring nations are finding their ways to non-State actors, thereby complicating the security woes of the country.

Meanwhile, the Navy spokesperson, Commodore Suleiman Dahun, in an official statement said the Navy “categorically dissociate itself from the view of the senior officer.” and that that it was “unauthorised, personal comments on the issue of trans-national trafficking of small arms and light weapons.”

Commodore Jamila Malafa, has said that Chadian soldiers, when broke, sold their guns

“They do not have armoury. So most of their arms that are being donated by — I don’t want to be specific — the developed countries in the name of assisting us are compounding our problems in Nigeria because you find out that each average Chadian soldier has 20 to 30 arms underneath his bed.

“When he is broke, he brings it out and sells it for $30, $20. I am here, I am standing here, and I am saying it”, she said.

She said the lack of armouries in some of the neighbouring countries makes arms available to their security operatives who in turn sell it off when they are “broke”.

“Since we are going to collaborate with ECOWAS and other countries that are donating such arms to these countries, I think we should insist that they should either enact laws to govern the handling of these arms and ammunition or build an armoury for these countries or else we will not see peace.”

Speaking on the Bill to establish integration of private close circuit television (CCTV) to fight insecurity, Abubakar said: “I think we should build a wall between us and these neighbouring countries or we should have serious surveillance or else we will not see peace in this country. 

In response, the House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, said “knowledge would be drawn from everywhere,” because security is an important national issue.

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