Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, on Monday, pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to expedite the process of reopening the Nigerian borders because of its effect on his country’s economy.
The Ghanaian leader, according to a statement issued by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Femi Adesina, made the call during a bilateral discussion with President Buhari on the sidelines of the ongoing United Kingdom-Africa Investment Summit 2020 in London.
Akufo-Addo, who said he understands the reason behind the Nigerian government’s decision to close its borders, pleaded for “an expedited process because the Nigerian market is significant for certain categories of business Ghana.”
In his response, Buhari said the partial closure of the borders was to stop the proliferation of arms, ammunition, and hard drugs in the country.
The President said he could not keep his eyes open and watch Nigerian youths being destroyed through cheap hard drugs, and compromise of the nation’s security through the unbridled influx of small arms.
He said: “When most of the vehicles carrying rice and other food products through our land borders are intercepted, you find cheap hard drugs, and small arms, under the food products. This has terrible consequences for any country.”
He said it was regrettable that the partial border closure was having a “negative economic impact on the country’s neighbours,” adding that “we cannot leave our country, particularly the youths, endangered.”
The President said the Sahel region was awash with small arms which accounts for severe security challenges in Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Nigeria.
“We are in fact the biggest victims,” he lamented.
President Buhari said the borders would not be reopened until the final report of the committee set up on the matter has been submitted and considered by the government.
He added: “We will get things sorted out. Our farmers, especially those who grow rice, now have a market, and are happy, and we are also concerned about hard drugs and weapons.
“Once the committee comes up with its recommendations, we will sit and consider the possibility of reopening the borders.”
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