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Delegates condemn insurgency, call for closure of borders

16 April 2014, 06:41

Abuja - Delegates at the National Conference have condemned the growing spate of insurgency in the country and called on the Federal Government to close Nigeria’s border with Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

The delegates, who spoke on Tuesday at plenary, opined that closure of the borders would help to curb the alarming rate of insurgency in the North-East and other parts of the country.

Gen. Tanko Ayuba, representing the North-West, said that a lot of harm and damage had been done to the country, especially the North-East.

Ayuba said that increasing rate of insurgency being witnessed in the country was an indication of failure of government, the armed forces and intelligence agencies.

He suggested that the country’s borders with Cameroon, Niger and Chad should be closed to curtail the menace.

“We should also deploy technology, especially surveillance system to monitor activities at our borders,” he said.

Another delegate, retired Col. Bala Mande, from the North-West, said that the insecurity situation in the country was an indication that Nigeria was under war, weather it was declared or not.

“In North-Eastern Nigeria, the terrorists move in convoy and one is tempted to ask where are the road blocks and check points.”

In his contribution, retired Justice Usman Mohammed, an elder statesman, stressed the need to increase the number of security personnel to curtail the security challenges.

Mohammed said that the number of military and the police officers deployed to fight the insurgents were too few to cover the areas where terrorists’ acts were being perpetrated.

“You may have a group of terrorists operating in an area for 10 hours and nobody would come in the aid of the people because the commander of the area said he did not have enough personnel to go round.”

“We are at war, if our country is at war, what we should do is to train people to join the army and the police. The number of policemen is too few.”

Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, a delegate representing Muslim Leaders, said there was need to investigate reasons for the insurgency before jumping into conclusion

“I believe we are playing with fire if we politicise issues of security,” he said.

Bello Okeke, representing retired civil servants, suggested that the leadership of the conference and those of various groups with at least five women should be sent to visit the victims of Abuja bomb blast in hospital.

She urged the delegates to pray for female students that were abducted on Monday night at Girls’ Secondary School, Chikbok, in Borno state.

-    NAN

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