The Area Controller of Ogun 1 Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS); Comptroller Dera Nnadi has explained why there still exist numerous checkpoints at the Idiroko border town and it’s entrance despite the fact that the border has been closed for over three years.
Our correspondent who visited the Idiroko border town recently, sighted over 25 checkpoints mounted Customs and other security agencies on the roads that lead to Idiroko border town.
When questioned about why there still exist numerous checkpoints along the border post, Comptroller Dera Nnadi informed that the checkpoints exist in other to curb cross border crimes such as human trafficking, theft among others, stating that the activities at the border isn’t all about rice and fuel smuggling.
He said there are other issues like cross border crimes which necessitate numerous checkpoints at the border route.
Nnadi confirmed that there are only two approved ECOWAS check points on the route, which are at Ajilete and Iwumbor; and added that the rest are patrol base or camps that officers in the bushes set up.
According to him, “the activities at this border is not all about rice and fuel smuggling. It’s also not just about trading. There are other issues, like cross border crime. We used to have issues of people coming in from the border to snatch cars and take them out of the country. Human trafficking is also a problem and there are other activities that require the presence of security agencies.
“Nevertheless, the fact that the borders are closed doesn’t mean that security operatives should go home. It’s not like we put a padlock at the border. Even after putting a padlock on your gate, you hire a security man to watch the gate”, he explained.
He said: “We, however, shouldn’t forget the fact that there are two approved ECOWAS checkpoints on this route. They are at Ajilete and Iwumbor; the rest are patrol base or camps that officers in the bushes set up to change. We can’t expect them to have their camps in the bushes, so they set up along the roads so that people can also see them”.
“We talked about the approved routes, but there are also lots of unapproved routes which officers would also have to patrol. You can’t legislate character because the government’s directive that the borders be closed wouldn’t be respected by some people. Hence, the need to have officers on guard”. he explained.