Kwara: AbdulRazaq Throws his Weight Behind Border Drills Personnel To Succeed In Policing The Border Communities

By Stephen ubanna

 When Dalandi Yakubu, Speaker, Kwara state House of Assembly , accompanied by   Mohammed Salihu Chairman, House Committee, on  Education and Human Capital , visited Muhammed Uba Garba, a former  Comptroller of Seme Command and now Zonal  Coordinator of Border Drills sector 3, based  in Ilorin the Kwara state Capital it gave him and his Team members  source of hope to excel in their anti-smuggling drive with Compromise.

 Muhammed and the other Border Drills Officials drawn from  the Army, Police, Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, and the Department of State Service, DSS,  may not have been   carried away by the visit of the Lawmaker who was said to be  from Baruten local government.  The Border Drill Zonal Coordinator was waiting for an opportunity  to take his senior Team members to pay a visit on Abdulrahman  AbdulRazaq, the All Progressive Congress, APC , governor of the state.

The opportunity came after the completion of the Team tour of the border Communities in Kwara, Niger, Kogi and Benue, on Wednesday, March 5, 2020. The Border Drill Zonal Coordinator who was accompanied on the visit by the  senior Army,  NIS, Police and DSS, personnel, in the Team , was said to  have told the governor  why the government closed the Borders  with the neighbouring countries of Benin Republic , Niger and the Central African country of Cameroon.

He cited the myriad  of problems  which may have necessitated closure  of the Borders across the country such as illegal migration  of  citizen  of other nationals into the country without any valid business, smuggling of light arms and ammunitions across the borders and other trans-border crimes.   According to him, there are enormous  challenges facing the country  due the refusal of the neighbouring countries, particular, Benin,  to implement the trade agreement with Nigeria.  He was said to have informed the governor of their visit  to Alapa, Ilesha Baruba, Yashkira, Chikanda and Okuta Border Communities in Baruten Council.  And their findings.  He may have told the governor that  this is what may have  informed the government decision  to protect the country’s Borders to secure the country’s trade against the negative effect of the agreement.    

He was said to have solicited  for  the support  and Cooperation of the state government to sensitise the people of the Border Communities on the dangers of smuggling and its negative effect on the economy.   Prior to the Border Drill official visit to the governor,  the office was said to had been inundated with  complaints from the  people of the Border Communities in the Baruten Local government   about the activities of Muhammed’s men  in their anti-smuggling drive which  was alleged to be affecting legitimate business.  

They may not have been happy that they could no longer continue their illegitimate business of  exporting Tankers  load of  Premium  Motor Spirit, PMS,, popular, petrol  , without records of transaction to Benin Republic.The worry   of many is that Baruten Population C Council , going by the Nigerian  Population Commission , NPC,  figure is 125,000 but the Border Communities are littered with filling stations.

Investigation by The Value News online finding shows that there are over 200 filling stations, in five Border Communities,  fueling speculations making the  rounds that the filling stations were established for  bunkering and smuggling purposes only . Muhammed may have played into  the hand of the  sponsors of the Petroleum Product smugglers , who were said to be mostly politicians  for daring them to implement   the Presidential directive that petrol stations  within  20Km      radius to the   Border Communities should be closed down.  It is not surprising why Yaskira and other Border Communities in Baruten Council  are littered  with nonfunctioning  filling stations.         . 

Recall that President Muhammad Bhari had   alluded to the  illegal release of 295  petroleum products Tankers  on December 17, 2019, b the y security agencies personnel charged with the responsibility of managing the nation’s Borders.      Much of the Tankers load of Petrol Border Communities l may have been released from the Border Communities in Baruten Local government  as some members of the Border Drills sector 3, who were said to have participated in the deal are said to be facing various form of disciplinary action in their respective agencies.

Compt, Mohammed Uba Garba Visit to Governor AbdulRazaq

Only recently, the Border Drill sector 3, under the close watch of Muhammed , was said to have  intercepted 135 drums of Petroleum Product in Chikanda Border Community in Baruten Council. Petroleum Product Smugglers  may  have resorted to use Chikanda Community to carry out their nefarious  activities because of the difficult terrain.

Prior to the inauguration of the Border Drill last August, about 10 million litres Petroleum Products  are exported out of Nigeria at night to  Benin, Niger and Cameroon.  That appears to have stopped because of the toght  security at the Border  Communities across the country, particular, Kwara state.  

Given the pain which the rigid  implementation of the Presidential directive to close all the  filling stations  within 20Km radius  along the Border routes,dulrazaq, the Kwara state governor  was said to have drawn the attention  of the Border Drills Zonal Coordinator to it, stressing that there are challenges of supply  Petroleum Products to the Border Communities in the state.

The governor, who was said to have told Muhammed and his Team, that there are many Border Communities in the  state  which could no longer get  regular supplies in filling stations in the Communities.

Aware of the government policy in selling Petroleum Products in filling stations within  20  Km radius to  the Border   Communities and the suffering of the people may have informed why   the governor has promised to work with the Muhammed  led Border Drill sector 3, to get petroleum products to the Border Communities filling stations and stagnate those that have been identified as engaging in dirty deals.

He was said to have assured the Team that his government would do everything within its powers to support  them to do their work.   Appealing to the government to ensure hat  the welfare of the Border Drill personnel are adequately taken care of, the governor insisted that  it is the only way to get the best from the security personnel. He would also want the government to provide the Team with proper equipment to do be able to confront the smugglers headlong who use sophisticated weapons.

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