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Many border communities loyal to neighbouring countries – Minister

The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has said that Nigeria is having difficulty in tackling security challenges because many border communities do not see themselves…

The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has said that Nigeria is having difficulty in tackling security challenges because many border communities do not see themselves as Nigerians and give loyalty to other countries instead.

Delivering a keynote address at the Business Day Breakfast meeting in partnership with Bridge Synergy in Abuja on Thursday, the minister said residents of many border communities in Nigeria see themselves as foreigners because of lack of basic amenities. 

He said, “We have border communities that are in Nigeria but do not see themselves as Nigerians; that is a major threat to national security. Today, in some border communities, we do not have schools there, no basic amenities and so their children go to the neighboring countries for schooling.

“Some of them do not speak English – our lingua franca, so naturally they do not have any loyalty to the country and these are communities that determine our security. You need the support of border communities to be on your side to be safe. We need to provide basic amenities for them. You do not demand loyalty, you earn loyalty and respect. We must work to earn the loyalty of these people by providing basic amenities. 

“We need a needs assessment of the border communities, we need them on our side to fight insecurity, otherwise these terrorists will come these people will house them and they will attack and go back and you cannot fight insecurity without human intelligence.”

 

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