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African Border Day: Commission advocates holistic approach to address insecurity

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African Border Day: Commission advocates holistic approach to address insecurity

By Collins Yakubu-Hammer

The Director General of the National Border Commission (NBC), Mr. Adamu Adaji, called for the development of an integrated approach to border management to comprehensively address national security challenges.

Adaji made the appeal in his welcoming speech at the 11th African Border Day celebration Monday in Abuja.

The celebration is themed “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers to Build the Africa We Want” and was supported by the German Society (GIZ) and the African Union.

Adaji said the strategic importance of borders in facilitating collective desires towards regional cooperation and African integration cannot be overstated.

According to him, the Nigerian government attaches great importance to defining and determining its territorial boundaries with its close neighbors.

“The essence is to pave the way for an effective cross-border relationship between it and its neighbors in order to strengthen political, security and socio-economic cooperation between them for a possible African integration.

“We have no doubt that the African Union’s border program will not only promote peace, security and stability in Africa, but will facilitate socio-economic integration and sustainable development of the continent.

“Therefore, it is imperative to develop an integrated approach to border management that would respond holistically to national security challenges.

“Border management relies first and foremost on defining the boundaries of the border where the sovereign jurisdiction of a nation is known and, second, on protecting the border against external aggression,” Adaji said.

In a message of goodwill, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Malam Abubakar Malami, congratulated the commission for the effective management of the country’s borders.

Malami said that a state can only be recognized if it has sovereignty, people, governance and territoriality.

“The Borders Commission has done a lot for this country. If you look at the case between Nigeria and Cameroon, the mature intervention of the Commission prevented the two countries from going to war.

“I want to urge the commission as the Attorney General of the Federation to continue its good work in border management to avoid the border crisis,” said Malami.

Malami was represented at the event by Dr Francis Oni, a member of the staff of the Borders Commission.

In addition, the Emir of Yashikira, Dr Umaru Usman Sariki of the Baruten Local Government Area in Kwara, said his people are being overlooked by the Nigerian government.

“We lack social facilities, including health facilities. In fact, we get health services from the neighboring Republic of Benin.

“I would like the federal government to put in place a policy against the smuggling of petroleum products from Nigeria to the Republic of Benin” because the activities of smugglers in my region are too numerous.

“In addition, security must be ensured for border communities, as bandits and smugglers use the vast forest to commit crimes,” argued Sariki.

He also urged the government to create a skills training center for young people in its field, which would discourage them from engaging in smuggling activities among other forms of crime.

NAN reports that those in attendance included security agency officials, the president’s senior special assistant on NBC, the office of the national security adviser, among other relevant stakeholders. (NAA)

(NAN)

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