By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
An advocacy group for good governance, Patriots for the Advancement Of Peace and Social Development (PAPSD) has indicated the security agencies and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) over the allegations of gold for arms swap in Zamfara State.
In a statement issued yesterday by the Executive Director Of the PAPSD, Sani Abdulahi Shinkafi, the group NAMA is the agency of the Federal Government that has the responsibility to monitor and give clearance to every aircraft that comes in or goes out of this country.
He therefore argued that for anybody to claim that planes come into Zamfara State to drop arms and carry out gold from the State without the tacit cooperation of the NAMA and the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) is being economical with the truth.
Shinkafi said the pronouncement by the Federal Government that bandits bring in arms into Zamfara State in exchange for gold through some unidentified aircrafts has once again shown that the nation’s intelligence is porous and inactive.
He said “This has also brought to the fore the inefficiency in the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the agency of government that is saddled with the responsibility of managing the nation’s airspace.
“It is a known fact that without the approval of NAMA no aircraft can enter the Nigerian airspace, neither can any aircraft have the clearance to land anywhere in the country.
“So, for the Federal Government to accept hook, line and sinker the lie that unidentified aircrafts bring in arms into Zamfara State and take out gold from the state is hogwash” he added.
Shinkafi pointed out that “the revelation by the National Security Council (NSC) has exposed the failure of the nation’s intelligence on the part of Nigeria’s Security architecture.
“If any unauthorized aircraft was getting access into an area, it is the failure of intelligence, not failure of aviation. When there is a problem, it is the job of the national intelligence to inform the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency or the Nigerian Airforce.
“From what is happening, it shows glaringly that there is lack of inter agency collaboration, cohesion and synergy among the nation’s security apparatus. Because, if there is credible intelligence, it ought to have been shared among the security agencies and not to have gone ahead to issue a no fly zone without credible intelligence reports” he added.
Recall that a pressure group, the Movement for the Restoration Of Peace in Zamfara State, had raised an alarm over plots to assassinate the Zamafara State Governor, Bello Mattawalle.
The group had in a statement in Abuja stated that after having failed in the bid to remove the Governor through the back door by coercing President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency in Zamfara State, some desperate politicians in collaboration with powerful political appointees in Abuja are now employing the use of intimidation, mischief making and blackmail all in the bid to remove Governor Mattawalle.