resident Muhammadu Buhari has said that the partial closure of Nigeria’s borders was not caused solely because of the smuggling of food products, particularly rice, but also because arms and ammunition, as well as hard drugs were being ferried from neighbouring countries into Nigeria.
Buhari gave the explanation yesterday during a bilateral meeting he held with President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana in London on the sidelines of UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020.
The Nigerian Leader said he could not keep his eyes open, and watch youths being destroyed through cheap hard drugs, and compromised security caused by unbridled influx of small arms.
He said it was regrettable that the partial border closure was having “negative economic impact on Nigeria’s neighbours,” but added that “we cannot leave our country, particularly the youths, endangered.”
“When most of the vehicles carrying rice and other food products through our land borders are intercepted, you find cheap hard drugs, and small arms, under the food products. This has terrible consequences for any country,” Buhari said.
Buhari said that the Sahel region was awash with small arms, which accounts for severe security challenges in Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria.
“We are in fact the biggest victims,” he lamented.
On the time frame for reopening the borders, President Buhari said it would not happen till the final report of a committee set up on the matter was submitted and considered.
“We will get things sorted out. Our farmers, especially those who grow rice, now have a market, and are happy, and we are also concerned about hard drugs and weapons. Once the committee comes up with its recommendations, we will sit and consider them,” the President said.
President Akufo-Addo, while showing understanding on the need for Nigeria to protect her citizens, pleaded for “an expedited process, because the Nigerian market is significant for certain categories of business people in Ghana.”