Border Closure: Desist or face the law, Customs boss warns officers, smugglers
Written by Taiwo Adediran on January 28, 2020
In continuation of efforts to curb smuggling activities, the Coordinator of the Joint Border Drill Operations, Sector 3, Ilorin, Kwara State Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba embarked on a three-day sensitization tour to border communities along Kaiama-Jebba-Mokwa-Wawa-Babanna and Kotangora axis of Kwara and Niger States with a stern warning to recalcitrant smugglers still operating in the area to desist or face the wrath of the law.
The Comptroller who met with stakeholders and traditional leaders of the various communities decried the attitude of die-hard smugglers who he said have devised new means of smuggling using bush-paths, motorbikes and camels to carry out their nefarious activities.
The coordinator also restated that the movement of all types of vehicles or boats used for transportation of Petroleum Products across the land borders and water ways within twenty kilometres radius of the border, remains restricted.
The Coordinator emphasized that, “we cannot continue to fold our arms and allow every Tom, dick and harry entre into our country. The uncontrolled migration hinders the government from having proper statistics and data for her National Development.
“Trans-border crimes, such as smuggling of small arms and light weapons, human trafficking, drugs trafficking and terrorism are among other security challenges that have to be checked. During this time, the crime rate became unbearable; drugs were becoming a way of life among our teaming youths that might be part of reasons that informed the Federal Government to partially close its border,” he said.
Uba-Garba appealed to the community leaders and the general public to embrace legitimate means of livelihood and avoid smuggling in all ramifications as anyone caught violating the orders will be prosecuted and jailed.
Some of the stakeholders and traditional leaders confirmed that the security situation in the communities have improved since the border closure and all pledged to assist security agencies in this National Assignment to succeed.
The district head of Babanna, Alhaji Isah Yerima promised to enlighten the community and its environs on the benefits of border closure and dangers of smuggling.
The Dodo of Wawa, Dr. Mahmud Ahmed Aliyu who noted that the aim of Federal Government to partially close its border is for the well being of Nation’s economy, pledged to support the Federal Government in achieving this goal.
He went further to say that the Emirate council has a long standing cordial relationship with all the security agencies in his domain and promised to do all it takes to assist the Sector in achieving the task at hand.
The Emir of Kotangro, Alh. Saidu Namaska commended the Federal Government for taking the bold step to partially close its borders.
He applauded the coordinator for choosing traditional institutions as his focal point and grass root mobilizers, for his sensitization program. He prayed for the peace and progress of the Country.
Some of the stakeholders and traditional leaders confirmed that the security situation in the communities have improved since the border closure.The Coordinator of the Joint Border Drill Operations, Sector 3, had recently redeployed Customs personnel posted to various States for effective performance and read the riot acts to the newly rejig border drill officers deployed to the borders in the sector.
The coordinator according to the statement took his time to visit all the check-points and met with Border Drill officers, DSS, Police, Immigration and all heads of security agencies involved in the operations.
A prepared and signed code of conduct that contains “Dos and Don’ts” was handed over to each and every officer and warned that anyone found violating the code, concealing information, compromising or engaging in any act contrary to or to the detriment of the operations will be shown the way out.
The Sector three, Border Drill Operations covers the North Central States of Kwara, Niger, Kogi and Benue States.
It will be recalled that the Coordinator Joint Border Drill Operations, code named “Swift Response” Sector 3, Ilorin, Kwara State; Compt. Mohammed Uba Garba recently visited the Emirate Councils and Border Communities of Ilesha-Baruba, Yashkira, Chikanda and Okuta axis of Baruten Local Government area of Kwara State as part of measures to curb smuggling.
The tour of the Sector Coordinator is expected to continue with the sensitization program to other communities in Kogi State and Ogoja/Adipo axis of Benue State.