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Nigeria must secure borders to prevent Israel-Hamas war backlash – Bolaji Akinyemi

A Professor of Political Science and former External Affairs Minister, Bolaji Akinyemi, has called on the Nigerian government to secure its porous borders in order…

A Professor of Political Science and former External Affairs Minister, Bolaji Akinyemi, has called on the Nigerian government to secure its porous borders in order to avoid the backlash of the war between Israel and the Hamas militants.

Hamas fighters from Gaza had invaded Israel through the borders on October 7, killing at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians who were shot, mutilated or burnt to death on the first day, according to Israeli officials.

They also seized more than 200 hostages in the worst attack in Israel’s history.

Israel has hit back with a relentless bombing campaign which has so far killed more than 4,600 Palestinians, mainly civilians, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

Speaking on Sunday, Prof Akinyemi, a former Director General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), said there was a likelihood that Nigeria’s security would be impacted by the crisis in the Middle East.

He advised that Nigeria should prepare for the aftermath of the war by protecting its borders.

Prof Akinyemi advised the federal government to create a special security force dedicated to border control.

He said: “All of us may become victims of the crisis. Nigeria needs to strengthen border control. As long as you have porous borders, there is very little you can do to control what comes in and out of your country.

“And so, you have to strengthen your security forces, especially on border control. One of the recommendations that the 2014 National Conference made was that there should be a special security force devoted to border control and not leave it to Immigration, Customs and even the military.”

He said apart from the Israeli-Hamas war, there were other crises across the globe including the Russia-Ukraine war, the war in Sudan and the crisis in Mali and Burkina-Faso, stressing that all these posed security and economic challenges to Nigeria.

He called on the Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s government to be more involved in solving crises in the world, rather than just issuing statements calling for peace.

Prof Akinyemi said Nigeria should be talking to Brazil, Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia on how to resolve the crisis in the Middle East, adding that: “We should not just issue a statement and sit back and feel unconcerned.

“Apart from the Israeli-Hamas war, Sudan is there. We have four million Nigerians in Sudan and if Sudan becomes a failed state, we are going to get refugees into Chad but they will just pass through Chad and they will end up in Nigeria. We should not allow Sudan to fail.”

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