Challenges Of National Security In The Midst Of Porous Borders, By Ado Umar Lalu

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The macro security of any nation depends to a large extent on effective security measures puts in place along the country borders. Entries and exits into or out of the country can be easily checked and control at the airports, but somehow extremely difficult to enforce and not impossible.

Every serious nation took borders security specifically land and sea/territorial waters borders with utmost importance because they are the major and predominantly borders used by drug traffickers, arms smugglers, terrorists and other organized trans-border criminal gangs operating from one continent to another.

Nigeria is among the leading countries that have the most porous land and sea borders that gives transnational criminal many opportunities to engage in their illegal activities without fear of arrest and detection.

The easiest way to destabilize the security of any nation is through the porous and unprotected land and sea borders that can be used to facilitate easy movements and passages of goods and passengers without passing through the border security checkpoints.

In addition to the porosity of our borders, other factors played an important roles in undermining the effectiveness of our borders,  and one of them is our pre-colonial histories and ties which the colonial masters were unable to severed or suppressed despite the borders demarcation the pre-colonial influence still defined the relationship between the border communities.

Without exaggeration the failures of all the previous administrations to do the needful in making our land and sea borders functional and adequately protected is responsible for our present challenges in enforcing strict security measures along our borders.

The recent closures of our borders came at a difficult times, but is a necessary option in curtailing arms smuggling, drugs trafficking, human trafficking and all sorts of transnational crime committed on daily basis that poses serious economic and security challenges to our collective interests and survival.

However, the closures of our borders has started yielding positive results but the government need to do more to sustain the gains made by equipping the borders with all the necessary installations that can detect arms, drugs and fake travelling documents among other things that will be of security risks on one hand and clearance of goods on the other hands to make the land borders functional to improve our economy.

In addition to the facilities that will be provided at the major land borders, intrusion detection systems should be installed across border lines to complement human patrols, observations and surveillance.

The work should start now of making our borders secured beyond Border Drills Team which is a short-term strategy.

We that live along border line sometimes we are highly disappointed to see the joint-border patrol teams stationed themselves far away from the borders by leaving the more vulnerable and free for transnational criminal to operate without hindrance.

Effective border security cannot be possible or achieved without involvement of the border communities to actively participate in combating all forms of trans-border crime. This will be possible if government provide basic amenities and infrastructures that will improve the quality of life of border communities.

Apart from their active participation in crime prevention and control in complementary manner, the government should come with program that will reduce poverty and unemployment among the borders communities. This will discourage and stop them from engaging in crime and serving as informants to trans-border criminal.

Lalu writes from Daura, Katsina State


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