By Nwangwu Uba
Ikechukwu Nwachukwu, a trader who shuttles between Nigeria and Togo to buy fairly shoes for sale in the country was disappointed when he got to Seme -Krake land border station to process his Economic
Unknown to him, the Land Border stations between Nigeria and other ECOWAS, neighbouring countries such as Republic of Benin, Niger, Chad and Cameroun , had been closed at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari by Abdulrahman Dambazu, a retired Army General
The Value News learnt that the minister had communicated the government decision to the Heads of the relevant government agencies: Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, Nigerian Police Force, NPF, National Agency For Food and Drug Administration, NDLEA, who in turn had communicated to their operatives at the Border stations.
It was learnt that the directive to close the land Border stations throughout the country was effected 12 noon on Friday, February 15, 2019. It was gathered that the officials of the NCS and the NIS, had been on the alert since they got the directive to forestall further Cross Border movement of goods and services.
From the land Border Communties in Ogun, Lagos, Oyo/Osun, Cross river, Akwa Ibom, Kano, Jigawa, katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Adamawa, Taraba, Borno to Yobe states the story is the same: tightened Security.
Much attention was said to have been paid by the security agencies operatives at Ogun and Adamawa states particular , because of the several illegal routes in the two states. Take for instance, Ogun state , which according to NIS records has 84 illegal routes while Adamawa has about 83 unapproved routes that could be used by foreigners to enter into the country and conduct their business and go back without interruption.
Unconfirmed report has it that many indigenes of these neighbouring West African countries had in the past obtained the permanent Voters Card and had been using to vote in elections in the country. Many of them who were said to have reached the voting were said to registered during the last review of voters registration with the intentions to vote in the forthcoming general elections in the country.
They got it
Muhammed Uba Garba, Comptroller, NCS, Seme Command and Chairman, Inter agency security Committee, may have set a record on how to police the land Borders during general elections for other Border Comptrollers to follow suit. Garba , according to sources , was said to have initiated a meeting of all the Heads of the security agencies at the Seme- Krake Border Community to prepare the ground to that the directive was collectively carried out.
Insiders told The Value News that officials of the NCS, resident NIS, Border Patrols, Police, NDLEA, Department of State Service, DSS, were at the meeting. A source confirmed that the outcome of the high profile security was communicated to their Beninoises counterpart in line the ECOWAS regional Integration and Cooperation for their support. This is because of the sensitive nature of the government directive.
When The Value News reporter visited the notorious Idiroko Border, under the control and supervision of Michael Agbara, there was a bevy of security operatives at the Border proper and along the Idiroko and Sango –Ota road with the Border patrol officials doing what they best: using tribal marks, complexion and Language to identify non Nigerians who were quickly turned back to Republic of Benin. A Border patrol official at Seme informed The Value News that that the Borders would remain closed as the joint Border patrol have been positioned at strategic locations to forestall Cross Border movement of goods and services.
But a ministry of Interior source said the closure of the land Borders was a temporary and may be reopened on Sunday, February 17, 2019, after the counting of votes and the general elections result announced for Nigerians to know their next President.
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