Against the backdrop of the startling revelation that an estimated 350 million illegal firearms were in the country, the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), has concluded plans to begin border drills along communities as part of measures to check arms smuggling and other crossborder crimes.
The Comptroller General of Immigration (CGI), Mr. Muhammad Babandede, made the disclosure in Abuja at the decoration ceremony for newly-promoted officers.
According to Babandede, the decision to undertake border drills was informed by the discovery that many suspected smugglers of small arms and light weapons, as well as drug peddlers, who use illegal entry points, often infiltrate the communities.
He, therefore, insisted that the need for “community patrolling” had become more compelling. For a seamless drill, the immigration chief said the military will be communicated accordingly.
“In the next few weeks, we are going to do border drill. The minister has approved, and we will inform our colleagues in the military that our patrol has changed.
“We will no longer do our patrols on the streets where we wait for vehicles to pass. We will also do our patrol based on community patrolling. We will no longer neglect people who live along the border.
“We will work with the communities along the borders because we were aware a lot of borders you know have crises in Libya, a lot of people passed through our borders unnoticed to join the communities along the border
“We will work with the communities to make sure we introduce the community based patrol”, Babandede said. Meanwhile, the NIS has appealed to the Federal Government, to provide up-todate equipment for efficient manning of 5,000 kilometres borders. Babandede argued that technology-based policing of borders, was the panacea for porous border control.