31 August 2001

Nigeria: Police Will Eradicate Cross Border Banditry - Smith

Lagos — The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Musiliu Smith, yesterday in Lagos said that security measures to contain armed banditry from neighbouring countries had been established.

Smith gave hints of the measures yesterday while fielding questions from newsmen after the official launching of the Joint Anti-crime Nigeria-Benin Patrol, at the Seme end of the Nigeria-Benin border.

"It is going to be war from now on, we are going to eradicate cross-border banditry," he said.

Smith said the decision of the two countries to establish a joint anti-crime patrol was taken at a meeting he held with his Beninoise counterpart between June 14 and 16 this year.

Part of the crime fighting measures was the establishment of two operational offices in the two countries where the activities of the team would be coordinated.

The two countries would also cooperate in the area of investigations.

Smith said his plan is to extend the patrol to all areas where Nigeria shares common border's with other countries.

He however declined to answer questions relating to the monetary aspect of the project.

The launching, which began at 12 noon was attended by government officials of the two countries, among them the Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Stephen Akiga, his Beniniose counterpart, Mr. Daniel Tavename and the Director General of the Beniniose Police, Dr. Raymond Fudanugu.

Akiga, while giving an insight into the factors necessitating the project, adding: 'we realised that crime has no political boundary, ".

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