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Nigeria, Benin strengthen border cooperation

The National Boundary Commission, NBC and its Beninese counterpart have embarked on a joint sensitisation campaign geared towards cementing the historical bond that existed between both countries prior to the colonial rule.

The campaign which took place at Kosu Bosu, Baruten Local Government of the Kwara State, a section of the Nigeria-Benin Boundary, featured socio-cultural activities to promote peaceful co-existence between the dwellers along the boundary of the two countries.

Director-General of the NBC, Adamu Adaji noted the absense of demarcation of the international boundary between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin has led to the problem of insecurity along the border corridors as bad elements have capitalized on the non-clarity of the boundary to perpetuate criminal activities in the communities.

“The height of insecurity in these communities is very worrisome as the problem has become a hydra-headed monster which has proven difficult for the security agents of both countries to intervene because of the fear of crossing into the other’s sovereign territory”

He also said the situation has significantly disrupted genuine economic activities amongst the border dwellers as high level of insecurity has caused both countries enormous human and material resources which are the bedrock of sustainable development.

The Director-General noted that despite the separation of kith and kins in Nigeria and Benin Republic by administrative boundaries done by the colonial masters that the people have continued to relate and interact well through inter-marriages and other social economic activities and stressed that the cordial relationship must be sustained.

His counterpart, Director-General ABeGIEF, Marcel Baglo described the artificial boundaries created by the Europeans as traps that has caused setbacks at the border communities.

Baglo urged the border communities to overlook those traps and be involved in the process of ensuring safety, stressing that security is everyone business.

The Emir of Okuta Alhaji Abubakar Idris lauded the initiative of the use of culture and sporting activities to strengthen the bond between Nigeria and Benin Republic and called for the provision of more basic amenities and infrastructural development of the communities.

Writing by Hassan Hussein; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade and Annabel Nwachukwu