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A Professor of Criminology and Sociology of Law, Moses Udo Ikoh has said that porousity of Nigeria’s borders is the major cause of increase in human trafficking, kidnapping, banditry and other organised crimes the country is currently experiencing.
Ikoh, who doubles as Director of Academic planning at the Federal University, Lafia Nasarawa State, made this disclosure while delivering the second inaugural lecture of the University.
Ikoh, who lectures in the department of Sociology, revealed that Nigeria currently has 1,400 illegal borders.
He maintained that this makes it possible for human traffickers, bandits, terrorists, drug peddlers and others who engaged in organised crimes to sneak into the country and carry out their criminal activities without hindrance.
The don while delivering his inaugural lecture titled, “Sociology of the criminal, Arc of tension, and harvest of insecurity in Nigeria: Patterns, linkages and Implications for National security”, insisted that Nigeria is not winning the war against terror because of leakage of intelligence information, insiders collaboration, and existence of moles.
He added that the recent incident at Ibi in Taraba State on 7th Aug. 2019, where soldiers had to kill policemen on lawful duties to set a kidnap kingpin free, suggests lack of cooperation among security agencies in the country.
Ikoh said, “There is a growing recognition in the world that insecurity as experienced in Nigeria via “invasion and succession” and terrorism is a transnational problem and those immigrants can also cause serious security problems, in their country of destination.
“For this reason, countries have
had to place serious checks at their borders. In Nigeria, a whole Ministry of Internal Affairs, with the Department of Custom Services is in charge of policing the borders.
“Nigeria has conservatively 1,400 illegal borders, which stretch mostly across the arc of tension. These porous borders have made infiltration of organized criminals possible; as well as trafficking in arms and ammunition, trafficking in persons, and drugs. It is also possible for organized criminal gangs with or without base in the country to sneak into the country and carry out their operation and return to their bases in Niger, Chad, and Mali, unhindered”.
Ikoh recommended that there is a need to take a second look at the joint task force and eradicate all forms of corruption among armed forces.
“There is need to take a second look at the operation of the Joint Task Force that Nigeria has with Chad, Niger and Cameroun for the fight against terrorism. It appears the security forces may be willing to engage in the theatre of war against the terrorists, but lack the necessary weapons and technology that can give them operational advantage. There is the need for procurement of sophisticated weapons, joint combat training, and battle design to eliminate the insurgents who are increasing in number every year.
“Eradication of corruption among members of the armed forces is needed. When President Goodluck Jonathan lamented that Boko Haram had infiltrated the security agencies and even his government, it was not investigated further.
“But as it is, Nigeria is not winning the war against terror as effectively as it should have, because of leakage of intelligence information, insiders collaboration, and existence of moles. The recent incident at Ibi in Taraba State (7th Aug. 2019), where soldiers had to kill Policemen on lawful duties to set a kidnap kingpin free, suggests lack of cooperation among the security organs.
“Climate change is worsening the environmental conditions in the Sahel region with intense desertification. The Lake Chad Basin is shrinking, and is adversely affecting the lives of millions of the people that depend on it. The truth is that arable and grazing lands are shrinking. The consequence is increasing the rate of violent crimes.
“Libya should be made to work. The impact of lack of government in Libya is exerting
significant negative effect on Mali, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, and even Ivory Coast. The African Union (AU) may not have to interfere in the affairs of members States, but it is not out of place to try to reconcile faction leaders in that country to form one strong united government.
“The failure of government in Libya is enhancing the strength of terrorist groups in the Sahel region, and Nigeria is being affected. The North East Development Commission (NEDC) should not only be involved in reconstruction and rehabilitation of people in the war torn communities and Local Government areas.
“The National Orientation Agency (NOA) should be strengthened to sensitize the public on the inculcation of national values. When the primary groups and social institutions are recognized as
centres of values allocation and defence, national values can well be internalised and propagated, and practised”.
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