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The Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor, has said 137 out of about 261 borders in the north-east and north-west regions of the country are unguarded.
The Chief of Defence Staff said this on Thursday while delivering a lecture on “security, defence and development in Nigeria” at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs in Lagos.
Irabor said the porous borders accounted for the easy access of terrorists from neigbouring countries into Nigeria to wreak mayhem.
He said, “Our borders are largely unmanned. The penetrability of our vast unmanned land areas – the north-east and north-west zones, particularly Borno, Yobe, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina states – with neigbouring countries such as Niger Republic and Chad among others has continued to be a key source of criminality and violent crimes in those parts of the country.
“The porous nature of the borders has made it easily accessible for terrorists and bandits to enter the country to commit mayhem. For instance, there are about 364 approved international border points in Nigeria with about 261 in the north-east and north-west regions. Out of this 261 only 124 are manned leaving the remaining 137 unmanned by security agencies. Intelligence suggests that violence actors are using some of these normal border points to move freely from countries 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.
“So I am looking ahead, when we bring technology to bear in the management of our borders, in addition of course, to physical structures that need to be established across the length of our borders, then we can contribute to the overall security of our land,” he said.
He added that there are actions that are being taken to see that “we move to correct this but the point remains that a good number of borders remain unmanned.”
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