Friday, June 25, 2021

We’ll reopen borders soon — Buhari

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Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday has met behind closed doors with the nation’s 36 state governors on the security challenges across the country, where they discussed the possibility of reopening the country’s land borders.

The closure of the nation’s land borders was partly an attempt to control the smuggling of weapons and drugs.

In a statement issued after the meeting, the Presidency quoted the president as asking the state governors to work more with traditional rulers and community members to improve local intelligence gathering that will aid the work of security agencies.

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The statement, signed by spokesman for the presidency, Garba Shehu, said: “Now that the message has sunk in with our neighbours, we are looking into reopening the borders as soon as possible.”

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Mr Shehu said the President, who listened to presentations by a governor from each of the six geo-political zones on their specific security challenges, recalled that in the old order, communities identified newcomers and passed information to constituted authority.

“The sub-region is no longer safe, more so with the collapse of the former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi’s regime and the cross border movement of weapons and criminals.

“Governors must work with traditional rulers. Try and work with traditional rulers to boost intelligence gathering,” Shehu quoted the President as saying.

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He also said while giving an overview of the security situation in each of the zones, the President said his administration had done well in the North East and South-South, adding that the South-South situation was still worrisome.

“Every day I get situation reports about illegal refineries and the blowing up of pipelines. You must stop local rogues from sabotaging oil installations,” the President reportedly told the governors.

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While addressing the issues of banditry and kidnapping reported in each of the geo-political zones, Buhari said “security is important and we must secure the whole country. We are thinking very hard on the issue of kidnapping. We will make it possible for the military to get to the bandits and kidnappers and eliminate them.’’

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Mr Buhari also assured the governors that the country’s military will continue to get the support they needed to fight criminals.

“I am not going to the public to speak about the vehicles and equipment we have ordered. What I can say is that the military received armoured cars and other equipment and they are training the trainers. More of such equipment, including military aircraft will come in,” he said.

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