Michael Olugbode in Abuja
Various Nigeria’s borders with Republic of Niger remain closed, the spokesman of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Dr. Aridegbe Adedotun, has said.
He said the acting Comptroller General of Immigration, Caroline Adepoju, has ensured that all official border points with the troubled country are closed as ordered by President Bola Tinubu.
He said Adepoju has also conducted an assessment visit to the Illela Border Control Post to ensure the effective implementation of the federal government’s directive to temporarily close land borders with Niger Republic in light of their ongoing political instability.
According to him, the aim of the visit was to evaluate the level of compliance with the closure and reinforce the importance of interagency collaboration and intelligence sharing.
In a statement he said during the visit the acting CGI expressed her satisfaction with the degree of compliance observed at the Illela Border Control Post. She extended her appreciation to the officers for their diligence in upholding the closure directives.
He added that Adepoju took the opportunity to reiterate her earlier directive to all comptrollers of commands in states bordering Niger Republic, emphasising the need for unwavering adherence to the closure measures.
“Addressing the officers, Adepoju remarked that having witnessed the working conditions firsthand, including the Mamman Suka checkpoint, I recognise the challenges faced by my personnel. I am committed to leveraging our budgetary allocation to enhance the overall welfare and working environment of our personnel nationwide,” the spokesman said.
Prior to her visit to the Illela Control Post, the acting CGI also made a visit to the Usman Dan Fodio Teaching Hospital where she directly engaged with injured personnel who had fallen victim to a bandit assault at the Mamman Suka checkpoint near Illela.
He said: “This unfortunate incident resulted in the tragic loss of two lives. While interacting with the hospitalised officers, the Acting CGI extended her unwavering support and solidarity. She pledged to provide assistance to the grieving families during this trying period and made a firm commitment to ensuring that her personnel’s sacrifices would not be in vain as all necessary resources to bring the bandits to justice will be deployed.
Acting CGI further engaged with the Executive Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Ahmad Aliyu Sokoto, and also paid a visit to the palace of the Sultan of Sokoto His Eminence, Sa’ad Abubakar III.
“In these meetings, she sought the support of both the State government and traditional leaders in effectively managing the borders. She received assurances of collaboration and support from both quarters, with the government and traditional rulers pledging their commitment to the successful implementation of all border management initiatives,” he said.
He, however, denied reports of the arrest of some of the personnel of the Service, who reportedly mounted an illegal roadblock along the Seme border axis.
He said the report was false, stating that: “I wish to draw your attention to publication that has gone viral regarding immigration officers arrested along the Seme axis purported to have mounted illegal checkpoints and arrested by police is false and baseless. I have contacted the ACG Zone A who has refuted the false claims.
“It is in this regard that I want to set the records straight that none of our officers are involved and Ag CGIS Caroline Wuraola Adepoju is leaving no stone unturned in order to make our Noble Service an envy amongst the Security Agencies.”