Yemi Akinsuyi in Abuja
The Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdurahman Bello Dambazau (rtd), has called for collaboration between Nigeria and Benin Republic in the fight against trans-border crimes.
Dambazzau, in a statement signed by his Press Secretary, Osaigbovo Ehisienmen, yesterday, said he embarked on the second phase of his visits to Lake Chad Basin Commission countries with a visit to the Republic of Benin, aimed at strengthening regional security partnership.
The three-day visit, according to the statement, was a follow up on President Muhammadu Buhari’s earlier visit to Benin Republic on August 1, 2015, as well as other countries within the Lake Chad Basin Commission, which necessitated further collaborations between interior ministers within the region, with a view to tackling cross border crime, terrorism, trafficking of arms, drugs and humans.
In his keynote address at the working session Dambazau posited that his visit was within the framework of regional security.
He noted that the 778 kilometer border between both countries re-affirmed the need to deepen ties in order to advance trans-national security, check movement of small arms and light weapons, human trafficking, cyber crime and sundry criminalities.
“It is believed this measure will help boost economic activities within member states,” the minister said.
In his response the host minister, Mr. Placide Azande, maintained that Benin Republic, apart from being the 37th states of Nigeria, is also Nigeria Siamese brother.
He therefore harped on the need for both countries to appraise security in the face of terrorists’ threats within the region, natural disaster, cyber and other organized crimes.
The three days visit was climaxed with the signing of a communiqué jointly adopted by both countries.
The interior minister was accompanied on the visit by the Solicitor General of the Federation Mr. Taiwo Abidogun, Comptroller General of Immigration, Mr. Martin Abeshi, Controller General of Prisons, Mr. Peter Ezenwa Ekpendu, DIG Dan Azumi Job Doma, representative of National Refugee Commission and other top Government officials.
Meanwhile, Dambazau has commiserated with President Muhamadu Buhari, family of late Minister of State for Labour, the nation, Government and people of Kogi State following the death of the Minister of State for Labour, James Ocholi (SAN), his wife and son.
The minister, who paid a condolence visit to the family alongside the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Bassey Okon Akpanyung and service chiefs in the ministry, described the late minister as a strong agent of change in the country, a man of strong character and selflessness, and that his death is a colossal loss to Nigeria.
He however encouraged the bereaved family to take solace in the good legacies of hard work, honesty, commitment to service and excellence exhibited by the late Ocholi and his dear wife.
He therefore prayed that God Almighty grant the President, the bereaved family, the nation and the people of Kogi State the strength to bear the great loss.