By Stephen Ubanna
Those who think that Nigeria would benefit tremendously from the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement , AfCTA, at the last the last African Heads of States and Government , in Niger, may have to do d o a think
Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police, appears to have taken advantage of the INTEPOL week which is celebrate all over the world member nations security agencies to speak out on its security implication to the country. Adamu , who could not hide his feelings said the ‘’signing of AfCTA within the Economic Community of West African States framework s could ‘’present new sets of security threats to the nation in the West African sub-region’’.
He maintains that the issue of Border security and management would remain a constant threat, thus seeking the support of the Interpol to contain the proliferation of small arms and light weapons across the Border into the the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari may have known about the security that he had mandated Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel, and Comptroller General , Nigerian Customs Service, the lead agency in the on-going Joint security Operation , Coordinated by Babagana Munguno, a retired Major General and National Security Adviser, NSA, to do everything within their powers to curb it.
The INTERL week , according to security sources , has provided a window for the IGP to expose the Force to capabilities and opportunities that the international police could offer to aid the attainment of the country security management.
Note that over the years INTERPOL had been supporting the country’s Police in the areas of information processing and sharing and apprehension of criminal elements. The Nigerian INTERPOL NCB, according to Adamu, the IGP , maintains a Criminal data base which is at the disposal of the Force. The police confirmed that that the data base is currently being expanded under the project Gemni with the support of the United States government and the West African Police Information System Criminal Data Base which is being supported by the European Union.
Adamu , the Police IGP, revealed that the INTERPOL project had been supporting the Police towards tackling proliferation of light arms and eapons in the country, armed robbery, car-jacking, environmental Crimes, kidnapping for ramsome , violent extremism and terrorism. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, were said to have also befitted from their support towards Combating Cyber Crimes and other frauds.
They were said to have assisted the Nigeria Immigration Service , NIS, in addressing the problem of human trafficking across the Border including the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement agency , NDLEA, in tackling drugs .
It is not surprising why the police, particular, are making a head way in busting high profile kidnap cases in the country in the last one year.
The on-going Joint Security Operating across the nation’s maritime Borders which had attracted international attention because of what is happening in Republic of Benin, Niger and Chad, which economy are at the verge of Collapse may have prompted Mohammad Babadende, Comptroller General, NIS, to clarify circumstance surrounding the Border Operation.
Babadende who is bearing the pressure from the International Community has made it clear to those that cares to listen that Nigerian Borders with the Benin, Niger, Chad and the Central African country of Camerron had not been closed for business.
Giving an inside information, he explained that what is happening at the Borders was the Joint drills operation conducted by the various security and intelligence agencies in the country to control traffic into the country.
Appearing on Channels Television recently, the NIS boss maintains that there is no Border closure as alleged in several quarters within the member countries of the Economic Community of West African States sub-region but ‘’Border drill’’. He may have spoken the mind of the Katsina state born Nigerian President when he said that a ‘’safer Border is a safe nation’’ stressing that the joint security operation to secure the nation’s maritime Borders is for the ‘’interest of the country’’.
Lambasting those criticizing the Border drill operation across the country, an elated Babadende said people crying loud are those think that ‘’they can make cheap money by dumping anything foreign manufactured or Agricultural product, particular, foreign parboiled rice in the country which had been blocked.
He disclosed that the security agencies involved in the Border drill operation have succeeded in preventing those making attempts to come into the country without travelling documents and records. He NIS Comptroller general may have gladdened the heart of the indigenes of the Border Communities in the southwest, south-south, north west and north east when he said a window have been opened for people to pass through the country’s Borders from 6am to 6pm.
The Value News learnt that the Travellers must enter with relevant documents including VISA if it is required, thus making nonsense of the new window for free movement across the border that had been opened between 6amm to 6pm daily throughout the period of the Border drill.
There are indications that the Border drill may elapse the mid-September, 2019, an indication that the suffering of the indigenes of the Border Communities including Travellers, Okada riders , money exchangers and Cross-Border traders would continue.
Recal that at the early stage of the Border drill, Joseph Attah, a Deputy Comptroller, and Customs Spokesperson had appealed to the people of the Border Communities not to panic when they observe the’’ movement of security personnel , vehicles and equipment in their area but should continue to go about their normal business’.
Attah’s appeal may not have doused tension in the Border Communities as the people have continued to lament about the devastating effect of the Border drill on their business. The worst hit are the Border Communities in Kano and Jigawa states where the sources of supply of traded goods have been cut off as the people could not find their way to the ancient City of Kano, the Commercial nerve center of the northern part of the country.
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