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Nigeria’s closure of Niger border not declaration of war — Custom

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says the closure of Nigeria borders with Niger Republic is not a declaration of war between the two countries as speculated.

Mr Adewale Adeniyi, the NCS acting Comptroller General, made the assertion while addressing Illela border community of Sokoto State on Friday.

Adeniyi, who was at the Illela border to ascertain the level of compliance, clarified that what is happening in Nigeria is also happening in other states of West Africa that shares same border with Niger Republic.

“My mission here is to restate the directives of President Bola Tinubu, being not only the Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but also Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

“As we are aware, one of the Chairman’s responsibilities is to promote trade between members of ECOWAS.

“But we all know that trade cannot happen in an environment where there is no peace.

“So the intention of government is to ensure that we leverage perfectly on the nexus between trade and security,” he said.

The acting comptroller general added that the situation happening in Niger Republic is such that trade cannot strive.

“This development initiated the ECOWAS Heads of States decision to seize trade with our neighbours, the Republic of Niger.

“However, there are other measures that are ongoing, the diplomatic front, there are engagement going on with the authority of Niger to ensure the crisis is peacefully resolved,” he added.

Adeniyi further stated that the action is not only restricted to Illela border but all other areas where the Niger Republic is bordering the country.

“So what we are saying is that the closure will be a temporary thing until we have final resolution of the crisis in Niger Republic.

“But certainly we are not at war with Niger Republic and no such declaration has been made,” he said.

On his remarks Alhaji Buhari Tukur, the District Head of Illela, appreciated the customs chief.

Tukur, represented by Alhaji Abubakar Abdullahi, assured that the community would continue to remain law abiding and respect government policies. 

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