33 illegal migrants attempting to travel through Nigeria’s land borders have been arrested by security operatives deployed to secure the borders in a joint military exercise codenamed ‘Operation Swift Response’.
3,560 bags of 50kg oparboiled foreign rice, 59 bags of NPK fertilizer; 15 vehicles, 12 drums filled with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), three engine boats; 65 drums of groundnut oil; 4 truck; 75 gallons of PMS; 29 motorcycles; 68 gallons of vegetable oil; 70 jerricans of PMS; among other items, were also impounded by security operatives in the operation, which began last week.
A statement issued by the Customs Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, and made available to SHIPS & PORTS in Lagos on Tuesday, noted that the exercise, which commenced barely a week ago, has received appreciable support from border community dwellers and other well-meaning Nigerians.
He said, “The resolve of Nigerian security agencies to better secure the country’s territorial integrity particularly; the land and maritime borders against trans-border security concerns has started yielding positive results from the ongoing joint border security exercise, code named ‘Exercise Swift Response’.
“The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), which is coordinating the exercise, is already recording large numbers of seizures and arrests from the four sectors comprising the North-West, North-Central, South-West, and South-South geopolitical zones.
“As at 26th August 2019, 33 illegal migrants have been arrested while seizures include: 3,560-50kg bags of parboiled foreign rice; 59 bags of NPK fertilizer; 15 vehicles; 12 drums filled with PMS; 3 engine boats; 65 drums of groundnut oil; 4 truck; 75 gallons of PMS; 29 motorcycles; 68 gallons of vegetable oil; 70 jerricans of PMS; among other items.
“The exercise, led by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), in collaboration with the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) as well as the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and other Security and Intelligence agencies have continued to patrol and secure our border areas.
“While an exercise of this nature is likely to create some inconveniences to members of the public, the overriding interest is to prevent the country against transnational security concerns such as smuggling, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, irregular migration, terrorism, armed banditry, amongst a host of other concerns.
“This is consistent with the constitutional responsibility of any well-meaning government. We therefore continue to seek the support of all and sundry, to ensure that the desired objectives of Exercise Swift Response are achieved, in order to promote a secured, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.”