Laws barring cross-border movement exist ― Aregbesola
Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola has maintained that there exist laws guiding cross-border movement.
Apparently referring to some reports that no law stopped cross-border movements, Aregbesola noted that he only pointed to the artificial and amorphous borders needing peculiar border management strategies.
According to Aregbesola, the fact that the nation had borders with no fence or other physical demarcations does not connote that no laws guided cross-border movements. In a statement by his media aide, Sola Fasure, the Interior minister explained that the nation continued to be keen on developing strategies to prevent incursions into Nigeria by criminal elements and terrorists from neighbouring countries.
In view of the overlapping nature of the nation’s borderlines, he said the nation embraced a strategy of engaging communities on borderlines in monitoring, control, and law enforcement. According to Aregbesola, the fact that traveling across international boundaries required a visa or some legal permission already showed the existence of laws on movement across borders.
The statement read, “Ogbeni Aregbesola presented his scorecard to the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday, June 10, and for which he received roaring applause from the Council. At the end of the session, he spoke briefly with State House correspondents.
“He gave them the highlights of his presentation to Council and while talking about his ministry’s achievements on immigration and border management, he told them that strategies must be developed in recognition of the peculiarities of the border communities to prevent incursions into Nigeria by criminal elements and terrorists from neighbouring countries.
“This is because the borders are artificial and amorphous, having no fence or other physical demarcations. “Ordinarily, by international standard, the stretch of land on both sides of the borderline are buffer zones and should not have any community. This is what is meant by international boundaries.
“But regrettably, we don’t have this in Africa where the same people, with the same history and speaking the same local dialect inhabit both sides of our borders with neighbouring countries. We, therefore, have communities that overlap our borderline with Cameroun, Chad and Niger and Benin Republics. “A particular monarch’s palace in Ogun State straddles Nigeria and Benin Republic.
“In this situation, the people of these overlapping communities can always claim any country they want and do stroll in seamlessly between both countries.
“What both countries need to do therefore is to engage the communities – only human strategy can work more effectively – in monitoring, control, and law enforcement in such communities.
“However, the minister did not, and could not have said, no law bars cross-border movement because such laws do exist and in fact, that is why there are borders and traveling across international boundaries requires a visa or some other legal permission.”