Worried by the ease with which small arms and light weapons enter the country Non-governmental organisation Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has urged Alhaji Aliko Dangote to donate the required bags of cements for the immediate fencing of the nation’s international borders to the federal government.
HURIWA also urged all other reputable cement manufacturers in the country to team up with Dangote to commence the implementation of this patriotic and noble initiative of donating their primary products as parts of their corporate social responsibility in addition to contributing towards the security of the international borders so as to minimise the threats posed by freelance armed mercenaries and terrorists who in the last two years had posed grave danger to the survival of Nigeria.
The group reasoned that if the current state of heightened insecurity and terrorism was not checked through a combination of strategies including the border fencing project, then soon the business and investment climate in Nigeria will deteriorate and Nigerians may begin mass exodus thereby crippling such huge businesses as the thriving cements industry in Nigeria.
In addition to the establishment of strict border security strategies through the erection of strong fence around the country’s international border points, the group also asked President Goodluck Jonathan to order the total overhaul and reform of the nation’s customs and immigration service because according to it through extensive field research and interviews it conducted over the last three months it can confirm that there is an incredible regime of corruption and graft among officers of the customs and immigration at the border areas.
These corrupt elements actively collude with undesirable elements to smuggle series of illicit weapons into Nigeria, with which terrorists and men of the underworld are terrorising Nigerians.
“It has been scientifically proven that illicit small arms and light weapons couldn’t have been brought into Nigeria successfully by terrorists and freelance armed hoodlums without the active collaboration of men and officers of the Nigerian customs and Immigration.
“The federal government must investigate these two institutions and ensure that their officers do not stay beyond two months at a particular station especially around the international borders to stop the bad persons within these agencies from familiarising and colluding with undesirable elements who are engaged in the international organised crime of arms smuggling.
The central government should also investigate the claim that there is a tunnel linking Adamawa State to Cameroon, through which a range of smuggling activities take place”.
In a statement, the National Coordinator of the group, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, wondered why the federal government has not considered the imperative of securing the nation’s borders by the building of formidably secured border fences.
HURIWA said: “We appeal to President Jonathan to rally the support of such patriotic business owners like Alhaji Dangote and other cement manufacturers to look at ways and means of donating cements and other infrastructural facilities towards the fencing of our international borders to keep away infiltrators and terrorist who have sworn to destabilise Nigeria using the illicit weapons within their reach brought in through the so called borders to stage severe terrorism attacks against Nigeria.”
“We urge the federal government to borrow a leaf from the Jewish state of Israel that has effectively used fencing to secure its international borders and has successfully minimised infiltration by armed terrorists. We are certain that if a transparent team is set up to initiate a national fund for the building of well secured fences around our international borders the ordinary Nigerians with jobs will volunteer their contributions towards achieving this collective national security objective.”