Security: AfCTA A Threat To Nigeria Maritime Borders As Border drill Takes A Toll On The People

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.

Mohammad Babadende: NIS Comptroller General

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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