The military says the influx of illegal aliens, arms, ammunition and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) materials into Nigeria through porous borders is a challenge to the efforts to combat terrorism.
It also identifies the use of animals like camels, donkeys and cows to traffic small, light and collapsible arms into the country as another challenge.
This is contained in the current special edition of the “Nigerian Defence Magazine’’, a publication of the Defence Headquarters.
The magazine said that the arms were being brought into the nation through some of its porous borders.
It said that most of such arms came to the Boko Haram insurgents through Libyan and Malian rebels, desperate to exchange arms for money.
“This has added to the overwhelming challenge of the influx of illegal aliens, arms, ammunition and sophisticated IED materials into the country, and efficient and effective fight against terrorism,’’ it said.
It also said that the waterways and sea ports in the South provided another means through which those arms were trafficked to the country via the ships, speed boats and canoes through the creeks.
It described as “disheartening and unfortunate’’ the means by which “merchants of death” (insurgents) trafficked small weapons, to beat security agencies at the borders.
“The fact that the weapons are small, light and collapsible makes them easy to be concealed and moved on camels and donkeys’ back in specially crafted skin or thatched bags,’’ it said.
It said that some merchants of cows and grains in the region hid the arms and ammunition in empty fuel tankers, under vehicle engines and bags of grains and smuggled them in.
“The grains are transported in large number via trucks, trailers, lorries and old model pick up vans and jeeps with little attention given to them by security agents.
“The use of tricycles (Keke NAPEP), camels, donkeys and cows moving in flocks to deceive, hide and conveniently traffic arms in some parts of the North are ways hitherto unknown,’’ it said.
It, however, said that the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the region had since uncovered those means and had taken measures to contain them.
The magazine called for adequate deployment of personnel and technology in the borders to man, monitor and check the movement of illegal persons, goods and arms into the country.
“Security agencies at the borders and seaports have complained of the porosity of the nation’s border and water ways.
“The problem of porous borders is compounded by inadequate personnel, patrol vehicles, surveillance helicopter and equipment.
“Consequently, most of the borders are leaky and this makes effective control of intruders, smugglers and merchants of deaths, a mirage,’’ it said.
The military has been battling against terrorists in the northern part of Nigeria where a state of emergency has already been declared in three states.
The Boko Haram, the most deadly of the terrorist groups operating in Northern Nigeria, is responsible for the killing of thousands of civilians and soldiers in various attacks across the northern states.