“There is no way Nigeria can secure itself unless it is able to effectively secure or block the uncountable illegal cross border routes across the country’s territory. This is what this government appears to have deliberately failed or refused to effectively exploit Nigeria’s diplomatic relations with its neighbouring countries towards finding a lasting solution to the problem”
As has been admitted by officials of the present government and other stakeholders, there are disturbing reports that foreign criminal elements from neighbouring countries illegally cross borders into the Nigerian territory in droves, commit crimes, including arms trade, human trafficking, etc. There is no telling what this means to the checkered anti-insurgency campaign by the present administration.
This establishes the well-known fact that this country is among the countries with the most vulnerable international borders in the world. Were land, air and sea borders firmly protected by relevant operatives, it is believed that the country’s intractable security issues would have been fairly under control.
Interestingly, it was President Muhammadu Buhari who has consistently given us a Libyan factor. According to him, “The instability in Libya after 42 years of Muammar Gaddafi affects all of us in the Sahel region… From Mauritania to the Central Africa Republic, Gaddafi recruited gunmen, who learnt to do nothing else than to kill. When the former Libyan leader was killed, the gunmen escaped with their arms, and are wreaking havoc all over the place now”, he said.
Every rational Nigerian would have loudly wondered why the president chose to display the failure of this government to tame the insecurity monster. Why is the government exonerating itself and heaping blames for anything that is wrong on someone else? This is one of the most consistent typescripts of the Buhari administration.
For instance, in April 2018, the president reportedly told the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in London that, “The problem is even older than us. It has always been there, but now made worse by the influx of armed gunmen from the Sahel region into different parts of the West African sub-region”. In Electronic medium, he reportedly claimed that “The Nigerian cattle herder used to carry nothing more than a stick, but these are people with AK-47 and people refuse to reflect on the demise of Gaddafi… So, when the opposition in Libya succeeded in killing him, they arrested some, and they did what they did to them. The rest escaped with their orphans, and we encounter some of them in the North-east, and they are all over the place now organizing attacks”, he maintained.
This blame game should stop because it is stridently preposterous. It Is Gaddafi to blame for the fact that despite the tons of unaccounted billions of Naira sank into the fight against insurgency since this government came to power in 2015, innocent Nigerians and security operatives continue to shed blood in the North-east, North-west, North-central, etc? Was it Gaddafi that instructed the Inspector-General of Police to march to Benue State with a view to halting the suspected killer herders’ massacre and the IGP impudently disobeyed and nothing happened?
Why has the present government demonstrated a lack of serious commitment to securing our international borders? From all indications, the cross border crimes committed by illegal immigrants in Nigeria are said to have been bolstered by the rather queer and highly criticized interest of the present government’s increased infrastructural development activities in the far Northern borders with Niger and Chad Republics.
There is no way Nigeria can secure itself unless it is able to effectively secure or block the uncountable illegal cross border routes across the country’s territory. This is what this government appears to have deliberately failed or refused to effectively exploit Nigeria’s diplomatic relations with its neighbouring countries towards finding a lasting solution to the problem. Of course, the collateral damage is the daily avoidable bloodshed of innocent citizens by bandits, terrorists and other criminal elements.
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