Posted by News Express | 29 August 2022 | 347 times
Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, on Monday described the disclosure that more than half of the borders in the North-East and North-West of Nigeria are unguarded as very worrisome and disturbing due to the immense danger it poses to the security of the citizens.
It would be recalled that the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, had last Thursday, while delivering a lecture on “Security, Defence and Development in Nigeria” at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos, asserted that “our borders are largely unmanned.”
According to him, there are about 364 approved international border points in Nigeria, while 124 out of the 261 borders in the North-East and North-West regions of the country are guarded, leaving the rest 137 unguarded by security agencies, saying these porous borders accounted for the easy access of terrorists from neighbouring countries into Nigeria.
Afenifere gave this position in a release made available to newsmen by its spokesperson, Comrade Jare Ajayi, expressing regret that less than a year to the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the government was yet to take necessary steps on what the Army Chief considered as “a key source of criminality and violent crimes in those parts of the country.”
The pan-Yoruba socio- political group, which equally recalled Buhari’s expression of concern on rise in insecurity while delivering his speech during this year’s Democracy Day on June 12 as well as his assurance that his government was working hard to contain and address these challenges, said one found it difficult, taken the president’s declaration and that of Irabor together, not to wonder what the administration had been doing in the past seven years if this was the period that the government was working hard to contain and address security challenges in the country.
“As we all know, the administration has less than one year to wind up. What have the security agencies been doing about the vast unmanned borders and what has the government been doing for insecurity to keep rising as its years in the saddle increase?” Afenifere queried.
“We are raising this issue because, if the borders have always been so porous, security agencies and the past governments had always managed to checkmate would-be criminals and terrorists from infiltrating the country.
“The infiltration began during former President Goodluck’s administration but got accentuated during the reign of the incumbent President Buhari. What went wrong? How? Why waiting till now before thinking of employing technology to man the borders as indicated by the Chief of Defence Staff in his speech at the NIIA?” the group further queried.
Speaking further, Afenifere said President Buhari has more to do to fulfil his desire to “ensure that the 2023 General Elections are safe and secure for all Nigerians,” against the backdrop of concern raised before him by governors that elections may not hold in the North-West of the country due to increasing security challenges, as reported by Cable (online newspaper).
This was just as Afenifere equally cited other reports that indicated that at least 75 secondary schools in Zamfara State had remained shut since 2021 due to “security concerns,’ while it made reference to reports of several communities that had been taken over by bandits in some states particularly in the northern part of the country as well as reported infiltration of bushes in the South-West and South-East by bandits.
The pan- Yoruba socio- political group said disclosure by the Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir El Rufai, that bandits were setting up a parallel government in the state, among others security concerns, were reasons Nigerians were very worried about the country’s security situation and the chances of the president to end insecurity soonest coming to fruition, urging the government and the security agencies to buckle up as time was running out.
“The reality on ground does not give the people reasons to be so assured – much as they would want to be so optimistic. The government and the security agencies should buckle up as time is running out,” the group said.
“So many lives have been lost. So much resources have been wasted. Many people have been forcefully ousted from their ancestral homes while living is getting more uncertain for the vast majority of Nigerians. The government should back up its claims with action. Security agencies should be strengthened,” it added.
Besides, Afenifere, further called on the government to employ technology and vast majority of youths to man the said porous borders, saying it should also allow state governments to establish State Police as well as set in motion machinery to restructure the country.
“Doing so would reduce unemployment and enhance security in the country. As a lasting solution to Nigeria’s myriad problems, the government should set in motion the machinery for Restructuring,” Afenifere said. (Nigerian Tribune)
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