Amotekun and Nigeria Border Security

By Martin Igwe, The Director Media & Advocacy, West African Action Network on Small Arms (WAANSA Nigeria)

Western Nigeria security network a brain child of development agenda for western Nigeria was founded in Oyo State on January 9, 2020 a security outfit based in all the states in south west. Waansa Nigeria visit to Ondo the regional headquarter of the outfit confirms an agency committed into complementary government effort towards tackling insecurity and other act of violence in that region.

The corps has improved intelligence gathering, swift response to nipping criminalities in the bud. This has boosted public confidence, sincerely speaking Amotekun and other non conventional security organizations have helped curb crime in South West Region. It is good to note that Amotekun only investigate and hands all case to relevant authorities like police for further prosecution. This singular act eliminate frictions from statutory security institution owned by Government.

Idiroko a town in Ipoka local Government of Ogun State situated along Nigeria Benin Republic border and has been an official border crossing point in decades. Presently in Idiroko border, illegal cross border trade in petrol, poultry products, tyres, drugs, cars and electronics are the order of the day. This frontier is also use by human trafficker to carry young girls and boys from Benin Republic of Nigeria to serve as house made.

SEME border is also a settlement on the border of Benin Republic. Thirty minutes from Badagry, under Badagry West Local Government Area Lagos State Nigeria. In SEME smuggling of all types of booms, disappointingly smuggling hurt the economy an act of tax evasion, that deprives government of much revenue to provide social services and development projects.

Smuggling in Rice in these border remain a threat to Nigeria self sufficiency in rice production. A recent World Bank report confirms that about N1.45trillon worth or different goods are smuggled into Nigeria through Benin Republic alone (Uche Uwaleke Punch news papers).

It will be a great demonstration of patriotism if the chairman of South West Governors Forum liaise with the office of National Security adviser and map out plans to extend the activities of Amotekun to our border communities hence complimenting other security agencies commitment to rid the borders of crime and criminalities which remains threat to Nigerian development. Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) has demonstrated pragmatism through management of security situation in Ondo State hence taking it further to border of states in South West Nigeria will not only save billions of dollars lost by Government but will check mate and reduce gun violence and crimes from actors who misused Ecowas protocol of free entry into and out of Nigeria to perpetrate crime.

World Border Security Congress should also extend hands of support in the area of training and provision of relevant equipment to this security network to enhance their capacity and advance the course of securing Nigeria Borders in South West Region.