The Emir of Yashikeira in Baruten Local Government area of Kwara state, Dr Umaru Usman has said the borders between his community and Benin Republic is currently very porous and has become a hideout for bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements adding that if nothing is done soon to man the borders properly, it may become another Sambisa forest in the country.x
He said security men posted to the area have been forced to become revenue collectors from smugglers, urging the government do all it can to curtail activities of smugglers in the area.
Usman stated this in Abuja at the conference and exhibition on the 11th African Border day and celebration of the African Border Day with the theme ‘Arts, Culture and Heritage: levers for building the Africa we want’ organized by the National Boundary Commission.
The emir said the security situation in the area is so terrible that the forest around the borders are manned by bandits, making it difficult for indigenes to do business.x
He called on the federal government to establish a proper military base to help curtail the activities of the criminals.
He also called on the government at the central to also build a health care centre in his community as there is none there at the moment stating that indigenes go as far as Benin republic to seek medical attention.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director General of the National Boundary Commission, Surveyor Adamu Adaji said it is imperative to develop an integrated border management approach that would holistically address national security challenges which would protect and defend the borders against external aggression and also taking measures that will ensure effective monitoring of inflow and outflow of persons, goods and services across the defined frontiers.x
Adaji said government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria attaches great importance to the definition and determination of Nigeria territorial limits with her proximate neighbors not only to understand the sovereign territorial jurisdiction of Nigeria as a nation-state but also to pave way for effective trans-border relationship between the country and her neighbors in order to strengthen the political, security and socio-economic cooperation for eventual African integration.
The DG further said this effort has yielded positive results which can be attested to by the continued efforts of the continental body which brings together contiguous African states on the need to reduce the weight of the borders which often becomes a source of tension and conflicts between and among several African.