Arms Importation: Buhari Meets Turkish Leader

Buhari; in meeting with Turkish officials

By Bayo Bernard

High level diplomatic talks are currently on going between the Nigerian government and its Turkish counterpart. The meeting taking place in Ankra, the Turkish capital, the magazine learnt was at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari had arrived Turkey, yesterday October 18 where he was expected to take part in the 9th summit of the Developing 8 (D-8) tomorrow..

The relations between the two friendly nations have recently been challenged by incessant importation of dangerous arms into the country. Four times within the last eight months the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS has seized more than 2,500 riffles illegally imported into the country through the Lagos seaports.

The weapons were believed to have been shipped in from Turkey. The Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hamid Ali (rtd) had while addressing journalists recently at a public display of another set of riffles seized by the Tin  Can Customs Command, disclosed that the federal government was in talks with the Turkish government on how to cub the menace.  The customs boss is among President Buhari’s delegations presently in the Turkish capital holding talks with their counterparts from that country.

Those in the delegation also include Nigeria’s First Lady Aisha Buhari, Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah and other top officials from the ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The federal government had sent a strong protest to the Turkish government through its Embassy in Abuja. Other high level diplomatic meetings were also said to have taken place between the two countries last few weeks. President Buhari also had talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over the issue.

Early last month, the NCS intercepted a 20-foot container load of 1,100 pump action rifles at the Tin can Island Port, Lagos, the eagle eyed men of the command had a week earlier seized 475 rifles shipped in by the a particular importer.

The arms loaded container marked CMAU189817/8 is the fourth seizure at Tin Can Island Port within eight month.

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