By Mbuh Stella
According to a one- minute-twelve seconds video currently making the rounds on social media, it is revealed that all land boarders into the federal republic of Nigeria have been shut down.
The video is purportedly filmed by a passenger stocked at the Seme boarder, entry into the Federal Republic of Nigeria from Benin Republic.
According to a female voice over the video, they came to the border and discovered the Nigerian immigration have actually shut down all land borders.
In the video buses and cars are seen parked and passengers looking stranded at the Seme border.
“There are a lot of people travelling from different places. We can’t even go to the gate. At the Nigerian end of the boarder soldiers can’t let you go through…” said one of the passengers.
Concerns are also raised towards lack of food, water, and any idea about their fates at the boarder.
At the end, the whereabouts of the said persons was not clear at the time of this report but according to Vanguard News, a Nigerian daily, the Nigeria Customs Service said that the border was not shut. Rather, movement of illegal migrants in and out of the country was only restricted.
The checks according to the Customs, was being carried out by operatives of the newly launched joint border security exercise code-named EX-SWIFT RESPONSE, as part of measures to secure the nation’s land and maritime borders, against influx of illegal migrants and other acts of criminalities…. The exercise which began on Tuesday, August 20, 2019, is expected to end by September 15, 2019.
The joint exercise was being coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, and will take place in four geopolitical zones: South-South, South-West, North-Central and North-West. According to a statement in Lagos by the Nigeria Customs Service Public Relations Officer.
He also said the exercise among others, aims to to promote “international cooperation and increase preparedness to address trans-border security challenges such as terrorism, armed banditry, smuggling, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, among others.
Cameroon is affected by this closure. Tomatoes and other products are transported to the Federal Republic of Nigeria via the Bamenda – Enugu Highway. The transporters as well as other travellers and businessmen will make no trips, hence business will be interrupted for at least 24 days. Inhabitants in the North West and South West Regions already affected by the ongoing war are further battered by hardship due to the closure.
However, Nigeria Customs officials have called on members of the public to continue their normal activities as the overall objective is to ensure a peaceful and secured country in the interest of their national security.
Mimi Mefo Info