In the just concluded week, President Muhammadu Buhari, at the inauguration of the Nigerian Immigration Service Technology Building, directed the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to increase the country’s border surveillance in order to stop criminals from making further entry into Nigeria to cause havoc.
According to the Minister of Interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, the recently completed facility, which will serve as the command and the control centre of the NIS, as well as the repository of personal data of Nigerians and expatriates in the country, would ensure control of illegal migration.
Also, the President ordered the security agents to shoot anyone found with illegal possession of ammunition such as AK-47 rifles, as they also clampdown on bandits who refused to surrender.
The new orders by the President were amid the worsening insecurity in the country, especially with the recent operations of bandits and kidnappers in the Northern region of the country which already spreading to the South.
On Tuesday, March 2, 2021, the Federal Government declared Zamfara State a no-fly zone, following intelligence reports that arms were being transported to the bandits with private jets which they also used to cart away gold from the state to Dubai.
In another development, Nigeria finally took delivery of the first tranche of 3.94 Million doses (out of the 16 Million doses expected from COVAX Facility) of COVID-19 AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
COVAX Facility is the partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO. Its mission is to ensure delivery of at least 2 billion doses of COVID-19 Vaccines globally by the end of 2021.
Hence, Nigeria officially commenced its vaccination campaign on Friday, March 5, 2021, three days after its arrival, as three doctors and a nurse received the COVID-19 vaccine.
The new tough orders issued to the security agencies suggests that the President is beginning to appreciate reality of the ravaging effects of the worsening insecurity in the country.
The boycott of the South by food vendors in the North during the week further reflects the deteriorating relationship amongst the ethnic groups in the country as a result of insecurity.
Hence, we expect the new orders to be backed by the political will needed to win the war against the bandits and other criminal elements in the country even as government continues to deploy modern technology to tackle the menace.
Meanwhile, we note that the delivery of the free COVID-19 vaccine should further bring relieve to Nigeria in its effort to curb the pandemic