Border closure: Buhari moves to check illegal operations

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A security outfit to check illegal operations and activities of government officials and suspected smugglers at the borders has been commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The outfit codenamed ‘Operation Swift Response’, which was described as a border drill, was commissioned following the discovery that despite efforts to restore sanity to activities at the borders, some officials were still conniving with smugglers to perpetrate illegalities.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said the President’s decision had paid off as it had led to the seizure different illegally moved goods at the borders.

“As part of the Federal Government’s effort to ensure food security and improve local production of goods at competitive prices, President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned ‘OPERATION SWIFT RESPONSE’ as a border drill exercise to checkmate the illegal activities of smugglers across our borders.

“The border drill has been hugely successful and has led to the interception and seizure of large quantities of foods, materials, minerals and petroleum resources illegally trafficked across our borders. The President commends the security agencies for a job well done.

He, however, finds it disheartening to learn that 295 smuggled petroleum tankers were released without due authorization on 17th December, 2019 by some security officials charged with the responsibility of protecting our borders.

“Sequel to this act, the National Security Adviser (NSA) was directed to set up a Board of Inquiry to investigate the crime, and it was recommended to the President that all officials (civilian or security operatives) found to have connived to undermine government’s efforts should be withdrawn from the border drill and severely sanctioned by their respective organizations.

“The President has accepted the recommendations and directed the immediate withdrawal and replacement of all those found culpable. He has also directed that their respective organizations should mete immediate appropriate disciplinary actions to them”, the statement said.

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