Residents of Border communities in Ogun state have decried that federal government ban on the supply of of Premium motor spirit to boarder communities with the distance of 20 kilometers.
The boarder dwellers expressed their displeasure at a press briefing organised under the auspices of the Ogun west consultative forum ( OWECOF) held at the state Secretariat of Nigerian Union of Journalists, Oke ilewo area of Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital.
The press conference which was tagged ‘ In the eye of the storm’ was addressed by a Professor of African comparative history and boarder land studies, Prof. Anthony Asiwaju Wednesday.
The Professor of history noted that an horrible situation such as the one being experienced now by citizens leaving in the over 3000 borders in the country has once been experienced when President Muhammadu Buhari was a military head of state.
Prof. Asiwaju however appealed to the government at the center to lift the ban on the supply of PMS to the boarder communities and as well as open the borders before the worst happens.
Asiwaju said, “This proposal has been occasioned by the ongoing public debates in the National assembly and the media mainly about the colossal losses and incalculable pains and sufferings of Nigerian border communities as well as the attendant reverses visited on Nigeria’s policy commitments to the deepening of the African integration processes, sequel to federal government’s ill-advised decision to close all our land boarders against limitrophe neighbours in west and central Africa since 20 August,2019.
” The imperative for this press briefing has been underscored by the apparent insensitivity characteristic of physically distant decision makers in Abuja, who are understandable too far away to feel concerned about pains and sufferings caused Nigeria border communities in the margins of the state territory as a result of ill-advised policy making at the center.”
The historian also lamented the hardship brought upon legitimate business owners and industrialists as a result of lack of petrol to run their businesses.
He further noted that the border closure is a blatant discrimination against law abiding citizens living in the border communities.
“The structure have also been enlarged to include the banning of petrol and petroleum products circulating without 20 kilometers of the border, where the teaming masses of the nation’s affected borders populations reside, carry out their legitimate mostly rural economic activities that provide them their means of livelihood.
” Contrary to the clear provision in the Nigerian constitution for right to freedom of movement and from discrimination, border closure is a blatant discrimination against law – abiding Nigerians whose home base and residence are located in the affected localities. It renders such areas needless, vulnerable and deprived of. It cannot be that living in a border area is a crime.