Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has said that residents in the border areas in the state always live in fear as a result of people who cross in, perpetuate crimes and cross back to their countries.
The governor, therefore, called on officers and men of the Nigeria Immigration Service, to collaborate with other security agencies in the state to check cross-border criminal activities, particularly along borders with the Benin Republic.
Abiodun made the call while receiving the new Comptroller of Immigration in charge of Ogun, Yakubu Jibrin, in his office, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta.
He said “I will like to appraise you of the fact that occasionally, we have problems with those who cross our borders from Benin Republic, wandered into our state at times responsible for one crime or the other and run back.
“I am sure that hand in hand with the customs, the police, the military and the Department of State Services, you will ensure that you bring this to absolute minimum because most times when these crimes occur, they all cross the border, attack our herders or farmers and run back.
“These crimes precipitate an internal crisis amongst us because it takes a while for us to determine that those crimes are actually caused by those that came from the borders. It appears as if our people are fighting among themselves.
“We want you to try and ensure that we find ways and means to reduce these cross-border incidents to an absolute minimum.”
He observed that Ogun, because of its large land mass and proximity to four states with an international border with Benin Republic, has a lot of people migrating to the state in search of jobs and leisure.
Abiodun informed the Immigration Service boss that Ogun is ranked as one of the most peaceful states in the country as a result of his predecessor’s collaboration with the government and other law enforcement architecture, assuring that his administration would continue to take steps for a peaceful and harmonious relationship between the state and its neighbours.
Speaking on international passports, the governor, who applauded the Minister of Interior and Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service for the establishment of a passport office at Sagamu, urged the new comptroller to expedite action in resolving some of the problems working against timely issuance of international passport to the indigenes of the state.
He expressed the hope that with the wealth of experience of Jibrin and the cooperation of the national head of the NIS as well as the supervising Minister, he was equipped to face the task ahead.
Speaking earlier, Comptroller Jibrin assured that his officers and men were ready to police the nation’s borders to checkmate the activities of criminals crossing over to cause havoc in the country.
He appreciated the state government for refurbishing three of its operational vehicles, donating one new patrol van as well as three new motorbikes, saying “this will go a long way in assisting my men to discharge their constitutional responsibilities more effectively”.