Senate President Bukola Saraki has revealed that some of the armed herdsmen in the country acquire their weapons from neighbouring counties.
Saraki, therefore, said there was a need for the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States to find ways to deal with the growing insecurity in the region, especially with the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
He made these observations while delivering a speech at the opening session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to him, “Nigeria is currently faced with the problems of herdsmen and farmers clashing with most of the weapons used coming from illicit acquisitions at the borders. The circulation of illegal arms within and across the states has increased the proclivity of conflicts within the sub-region.”
While praising the Federal Government for the recent rescue of 82 Chibok schoolgirls, he said the government must continue to fight terrorism in the country.
Saraki added, “The problem of Boko Haram and terrorism remains a clear and present threat to the security of the sub-region. There is no doubt that we have made remarkable achievements in this area especially with the recent release of 82 Chibok schoolgirls.
“While we celebrate this achievement, we must not lose sight of the continuous threat Boko Haram and all the terrorist groups in the region pose as a destabilising factor for democracy across the length and breadth of the sub-region.”
In his remarks, the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Mr Moustapha Lo, said there was a need for West African nations to do more in the area of insecurity.
The US director noted that the victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin, which has Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, had been supported with $500m assistance in the last two years.
The Deputy Director, Bureau of African Affairs, US Department of State, Nathan Holt, said this on Tuesday during a special briefing on Nigeria at the Washington DC.