How to end proliferation of illegal weapons, by ex-envoy
FORMER Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dr. Umunna Humphrey Orjiakor has said that the Federal Government needs to and has the capability to produce military wares to track down the proliferation of illegal weapons in the country and the West African sub-region.
Orjiakor, who made this known in an interview with The Guardian in Abuja, said that the Nigerian Defence Industry Corporation could be revamped to go into massive production of local military wares for the Nigeria’s Armed Forces to battle Boko Haram in the North East and other parts of the country.
He added that the government has been trying under ECOWAS Agreement to address the issue of light weapons flooding into Nigeria and other countries in the sub-region but they can do more in that direction.
While calling on the advanced countries to assist in resolving the problem of insurgency here, the former UN envoy regretted that right from Obasanjo’s administration, lack of equipment and basic weapons have been our bane.
On Nigeria’s foreign policy, he argued that it is a true reflection of the domestic policy and “The foreign policy of any country is as strong as its currency adding that if you have a very stable currency, you will have a very peaceful country.”
He further noted that “if you have a very strong economy and focus pursuing your objectives as properly stated and articulated, it will reflect on your policy.
If you have a country at war with itself like the issue of insurgency, then we must replace obsolete military wares.” The Guardian recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari at the graduation ceremony of the National Defence College, Abuja on Friday August 7 had directed the Ministry of Defence to produce a plan for the establishment of a military industrial complex for the local production of weapons for the use of the nation’s armed forces.
The President said Nigeria must evolve viable mechanisms for near self-sufficiency in military equipment and logistics production complemented only by very advanced foreign technologies.
He thus tasked the ministry to draw up “clear and measurable outlines for development of a modest military industrial complex for Nigeria,” urging it to liaise with other strategic ministries, departments and agencies and industries to re-engineer the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria to meet national military hardware and logistics requirements.