Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigeria President has said his country border will remain closed until the final report of a committee put in place to review it is submitted and considered, Daily Trust reports.
Buhari made this known when he held a bilateral meeting with Mr. Nana Akufo-Addo, the Ghana president in London at the sidelines of UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020.
The Nigeria president pointed out that he ordered border closure not only for food products, particularly rice, but because arms, ammunition, and drugs were smuggled into the country.
I cannot open my eyes and watch Nigerian youth being destroyed through cheap hard drugs, and compromised security as a result of arms smuggling, Buhari said.
“When most of the vehicles carrying rice and other food products through our land borders are intercepted, you find cheap hard drugs, and small arms, under the food products.
This has terrible consequences for any country.” He said it was regrettable that the partial border closure was having a “negative economic impact on our neighbours,” but added that “we cannot leave our country, particularly the youths, endangered.”
The president said the Sahel region was awash with small arms accounting for severe security challenges in Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Nigeria. “We are in fact the biggest victims. We will get things sorted out. Our farmers, especially those who grow rice, now have a market and are happy, and we are also concerned about hard drugs and weapons.
Once the committee comes up with its recommendations, we will sit and consider them,” he said. President Akufo-Addo, while showing an understanding of the need for Nigeria to protect her citizens, pleaded for “an expedited process, because the Nigerian market is significant for certain categories of business people in Ghana.”
Many Nigerians and West African countries have appealed to Buhari to open the border, an appeal the president has since refused to take.