The pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, has described the disclosure on Thursday last week that more than half of the borders in the North-East and North-West regions of the country were unguarded, as very worrisome and disturbing.
The organization, in a press statement on Monday signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi, expressed 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, stressing the immense danger it poses to the security of Nigerians.
It would be recalled that the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, confirmed that the nation’s borders were largely unmanned, revealing that 137 out of about 261 borders in the North-East and North-West regions of the country were unguarded and that the porous borders accounted for the easy access of terrorists from neigbouring countries into Nigeria.
He stated this last week Thursday while delivering a lecture on ‘Security, Defence and Development in Nigeria’ at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos.
Irabor asserted that there were about 364 approved international border points in Nigeria, adding that out of the 261 approved borders in the two regions, only 124 were manned, leaving the remaining 137 unmanned by security agencies.
Intelligence suggests that violent actors were using some of the normal border points to move freely from countries into Nigeria to cause mayhem.
Afenifere recalled President Buhari’s expression of concern on the rise in insecurity when speaking during this year’s Democracy Day on June 12 as well as his declaration that his government was working hard to contain and address these challenges, pointing out that the president’s statement does not agree with the situation on the ground.
“Taken the president’s declaration and that of the Chief of Staff together, one finds it difficult not to wonder what the administration has been doing in the past seven years if this is the period that the government is 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.
The pan Yoruba organization which observed that the country’s borders did not just spring up, wondered whether they had always remained unmanned.
“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.