Nigerian chief of defence staff, Lucky Irabor, said that 137 out of around 216 borders in the north and north-western regions of the nation are unguarded.
He made the following statement on Thursday during a lecture on “security, defence & development in Nigeria” at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos.
Irabor said the porous borders accounted for the easy access of terrorists from neighbouring nations into Nigeria to wreak mayhem.
He added, “Our borders are largely unmanned. The penetrability of our vast unmanned land areas- the north-eastern and north-western zones, specifically Borno, Yobe, Sokoto, Zamfara, and Katsina states- with neighbouring nations such as the Niger Republic and Chad among others has continued to be a primary source of criminality and violent crimes in those parts of the nation.”
“The permeable nature of the borders has made it easily approachable for terrorists and bandits to take entry into the nation to commit mayhem. For example, there are around 364 approved international border points in Nigeria with around 261 in the north-east and northwest regions. Out of this, 261 only 124 are manned leaving the remaining 137 unmanned by security agencies. Intelligence suggests that violent actors are using some of these normal border points to move freely from nations into Nigeria to cause mayhem.”
The defence chief called for the use of technology as a tool in strengthening the Nigerian borders, in addition to the erection of physical structures and an effective management.
He said there is a need to have a broad based integrated border management system to be established.