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Defending Nigerian Sovereignty Through Effective Border Security

A basic characteristic of a sovereign state is its authorities’ ability to protect its population from external aggression both domestically and internationally.

It is not commonplace for nations to rise against one another, which can sometimes result in war and aggression, over causes such as border disputes.

Certain countries have been involved in violent military clashes over such concerns. Eritrea and Ethiopia, Israel and Palestine, India and Pakistan, Russia and Ukraine, and North and South Korea are just a few examples.

In numerous instances, these countries have been pacified by United Nations Special Envoys pleading for restraint over disputed territories and regions and are occasionally compelled or obligated by agreements to explore alternate and peaceful resolutions to land conflicts.

Comparable difficulties

Nigeria has also had comparable difficulties; a notable example is the Bakassi Peninsula, located between Nigeria and Cameroon, which sparked years of hostility between the two countries.

Additionally, under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, Nigeria’s border with the Benin Republic was blocked to prevent the influx of illegal and contraband commodities. These actions were intended to avert a further worsening of the nation’s economy.

Between 2012 and 2018, Nigeria conducted collaborative operations with Chad, Niger, Mali, and Cameroon to combat the Boko-Haram insurgency after it was discovered that some of the rebels were foreigners.

Despite failures and obstacles, the cooperative effort that allowed for unrestricted cross-border military operations produced excellent effects, diminishing the militants and their antics.

However, the most recent border incident occurred in Taraba State, when Cameroonian security personnel attacked inhabitants of Tosso and Mairogo villages in Kurmi Local Government Area, which is located on the border between the two nations.

Additionally, a clergyman was allegedly abducted in a southwestern state by suspected security personnel from a neighbouring country. The cleric was claimed to have been outspoken in his sermons about attacks and threats from some factions in that country.

It suffices to say that Nigeria, as a sovereign state, is responsible for protecting its population from all forms of assault.

Nigeria has at least 7,000 border entry sites, according to the latest figures. Regrettably, the majority of these points are unauthorized and inadequately protected against unlawful entry.

Lack of funds

A visit to several of these locations revealed that several had been blocked off with discarded tires, oil drums, huge stones, and, in some cases, tree branches and timber. According to the Immigration Service, this is a phenomenon caused by a lack of funds.

In modern societies, high-tech equipment like helicopters equipped with thermal cameras, gunboats for sea patrol, and night vision goggles and cameras for nightcrawlers are used to secure these areas from intruders.

However, Nigerians living in border areas must always adhere to the principles of peace, civility, and lawful interaction.

The premise that an unlawful assault on a Nigerian is an assault on her sovereignty must be maintained.

Writing by Olayemi Daniyan of our Current Afairs unit; Editing by Saadatu Albashir