While Nigeria confronts the humanitarian fallout of the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency, banditary, Fulani herdsmen and farmer clashes, kidnapping, armed robbery and simmering separatism in the South East, crucial reforms have been stalled. In an excerpt from a Daily Trust report by Bulama Bukati titled, "AK47, Tramadol And Boxer – The Triad Ingredients Of Nigeria’s Insecurity", the renown journalist highted 3 tools as the biggest factors driving insecurity in Nigeria, saying, "the combination of AK47 with Tramadol and Boxer creates a self-feeding fire-storm".
Gun use in Nigeria has increased significantly in the last decade. It doesn't take much to buy a couple of guns and organise a gang.
Armed groups in the country deploy an arsenal that includes assault rifles (AK-47, Czech SA Vz. 58, G3, FN FNC, and FN FAL), pump-action shotguns, light machine guns, and home-made guns. The types of weapons surrendered in the wake of peace processes and or seized from arrested criminals confirm this.
East European-made AK-47 assault rifles, moreover, are becoming more prevalent than the formerly favoured Beretta AR-70, FNC, and light machine guns.
You now see criminals across the country brandishing AK47s like toys, this confirms a statement made by Auwal Daudawa, the kidnap kingpin who orchestrated the abduction of the 344 Kankara boys last December, that getting a gun today in Nigeria is “just like you going to buy bread”.
The government on the other hand has a loose grip on rural areas where such criminal enterprises thrive.
Churned out by many legal and illegal factories from Punjab to Gujarat in India, Tramadol, a synthetic painkiller, has also been taking the battlegrounds of the world by storm.
In larger doses, tramadol hydrochloride makes users euphoric, bold and unmindful of consequences, and numb to pain and emotion. Such is the power of this drug that an aura of legend has grown around it.
These legends are what make Tramadol so alluring to armed criminals, insurgent and terror groups, including Boko Haram as It makes them even more merciless, dangerous and fearless.
Boko Haram, notorious for its mindless violence, represents the IS in West Africa and operates mainly in northeastern Nigeria, from where it has spread to Chad, Niger and parts of Cameroon.
When offenders finish massacring and destroying, the third of the trio in this catastrophic combination comes handy. Boxer, the Chinese motorbike that first became popular with commercial cyclists and farmers for its strength, speed and durability, has for years been weaponised by criminals.
Intensive Policing and Efficient Monitoring Mechanisms of the Nigerian Borders
It is high time Nigeria started policing her borders intensively; the Nigeria-Cameroon and Nigeria-Chad borders to checkmate illegal influx and smuggling of drugs, arms and weapons. The step, if taken, will prevent the influx ofillegal drugs, illicit small arms and light weapons into the country.
Identifying the Saboteurs in the Military and Other Security Agencies
The various saboteurs in the Military, Police and other security agencies who sell out some firearms to illegal users should be closely monitored, identified and prosecuted.
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