The acting Comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Rilwanu Bala Musa, Thursday admitted that porous borders presented a huge challenge to the agency, especially at the North-eastern part of the country through which Boko Haram insurgents infiltrate to wreak havoc on the country.
This came as the presidential committee on dialogue and peaceful resolution of security challenges in the northern part of the country thursday said the proscription of the Boko Haram sect would not affect the dialogue move by the committee.
Musa stated this during the sensitisation briefing on the activities mapped out to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the NIS.
He described the porous borders as problematic, adding that it was one of the major tasks he undertook on assumption of office.
He, however, noted that the federal government had intensified effort to fortify these areas and ensure that further infiltration of terrorists into the country was stopped.
He said: “NIS has acknowledged that capacity building is key to success at meeting our goals. Therefore, the NIS has continually trained and retrained its officers and men on the use of IT tools, intelligence gathering and analysis and other numerous fields to improve our capacity.
“However, we also acknowledge that the land borders have been our weakest link. On assumption of duty, I undertook a tour of our borders at the north-eastern part of the country.
“I observed the environment, discussed with stakeholders in the region and have made my recommendations to the government. I am excited that government is handling the situation well.”
The ongoing offensive by soldiers in parts of the North-east against Boko Haram had exposed many foreign elements within the ranks of the insurgents, who easily entered and exited the country to carry out their terror attacks.
The immigration boss also announced that some NIS officers had been dismissed for indiscipline, including lateness to office and negligence to duties.
On the activities lined up for the NIS golden jubilee, Musa said it would be a week-long event comprising prayers at the National Mosque and Church, lectures, ceremonial parade, and a one-day interactive session with management of the service and staff, among others.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the northern part of the country, Alhaji Taminu Turaki, while speaking in Jos, the Plateau State capital, during the committee’s visit to the state, said government had to take certain steps to ensure that lives and property of the citizens were protected.
Turaki, who is also the Minister of Special Duties, said: “Government had to take the decision to ensure that lawlessness would not be tolerated. But not withstanding, our constructive engagement and discussion will continue.
“Now, we are in Jos, we have talked and made consultations with stakeholders, issues like disarmament would come after the dialogue. But first, we are trying to get the linkages and then discussion which would lead to dialogue after dialogue we would now arrive at agreeable terms that both parties would be faithful to and its at that time that disarmament would come in.
“For those who are willing to give peace a chance, the presidential peace committee is saying welcome to them. And for those who are not willing to give peace a chance, government is putting in place appropriate legislation to make sure that nobody is seen or allowed to live above the law.”
Also speaking, the Chairman of Plateau State Council of Chiefs and the Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba, said that religion in the country has been commercialised.
He said most religion leaders claim to know God of creation but still they are the ones abusing the cardinal principles and teachings of God, saying “everybody has become a pastor, sheikh, man of God and are busy working for money rather than evangelism.
He also caution religious leaders against inciting preaching and called on religious leaders to take away criminality from religion.
While praising security operatives in the state for the role they played in restoring peace to the state, he however, said there was no amount of security personnel that can restore peace; “but they can only restore law and order as peace comes from our individual desire and we have to assist the security agencies in doing this.”
He called on the citizens of the country not to be involved in religious sentiments as this was killing the spirit of Nigerians