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Why we restrict movement at Seme border —Customs

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Ibrahim Ramalan
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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Many travellers and vehicles were stranded for hours on Thursday at Seme border post following restriction of movement around the country’s frontier with Benin Republic.

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A News Agency of Nigeria Correspondent who visited Seme border reports that the restriction followed the joint border security exercise ordered by the Federal Government and aimed at securing Nigeria’s land and maritime borders.

The exercise, code-named, ‘Ex-Swift Response’, was being jointly conducted by the customs, immigration, police and military personnel and coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

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NAN reports that incoming travelers and vehicles were thoroughly searched by the additional security officials drafted to the border, causing long delays.

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Many commercial vehicles conveying passengers into the country were ordered to park at the new border post for several hours, while hundreds of Nigeria-bound trucks were parked across the border.

Christopher Lawal, a passenger on Chisco Bus Transport, told NAN that their vehicle had been parked for inspection for several hours.

“We don’t know what is happening. Our bus was stopped for inspection since 12 noon, they just asked us to wait.

“We have spent close to three hours now and nobody is telling us what is happening.

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“We are not aware of the restriction, we went on excursion to Ghana and coming back to the country, they just asked the driver to wait,” he said.

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Daniel Avoseh, a coconut trader, said his four trucks of coconut coming from Ghana was stuck at border post since the exercise started on Tuesday.

“Up till now, they did not allow the trucks to pass. I am not aware of any restriction before I went to buy coconut in Ghana,” he said.

Customs spokesman, Joseph Attah, had, in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja said that the joint border security exercise would be conducted in 25 states across the South-South, South-West, North-Central and North-West zones and urged the public to cooperate with the officials.

NAN

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