One of the primary responsibilities of any government is to provide security for its citizens and provide basic social services.
Liberia, a country emerging from years of civil conflicts has had series of problems. It has been providing security to its people and, to some level, providing some basic social services to its citizens.
It is a known fact today that the rebel incursion in 1989, did not start from within, rather, it came from outside of the country; mainly from Ivory Coast.
Not only that, but also in 1985 the attempted coup headed by the late Thomas Quinwonkpa came from neighboring Sierra Leone. Also, the two rebel groups, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy- and United Liberation Movement-ULIMO entered the country from Sierra Leone and Guinea respectively.
Knowing how important these borders are to our security, it is becoming clear that this Government needs to be very vigilant in protecting them.
The inability of the Government of Liberia, through the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, to properly man the borders of Liberia, especially with neighboring Guinea, is a major challenge.
Such challenge, if not robustly overcome with vigor and commitment, may create a serious embarrassment in the future.
While it is an agreeable fact that, like others elsewhere in the country, the Liberian-Guinea border is very porous, it is important for the government to place serious emphasis on huge deployment of Immigration personnel with all of the logistics to include effective and efficient communications, as well as motor-bikes for now, if not pick-up trucks, among others to avoid the crisis we foresee in the future.
Our concern is against the backdrop of the influx of non-Liberians, especially Guineans into border towns and villages in Nimba, Bong and Lofa Counties through porous border points, including those even policed by Immigration officers and those of other security apparatus.
Interestingly, many of the non-Liberians that enter into the country under the guise of traders, sooner turn out to be "pen-pen riders, petite traders and then, shop owners and importers" without documentation.
The aliens, upon the accumulation of wealth, use their 'cash' to drive through immigration and nationality challenges that may confront them anytime, anywhere across the country, especially in a situation wherein immigration officers and those who assist them in manning our borders are paid less salaries without benefits and logistics.
The Government needs to do all it can to provide the needed support to officers assigned at these areas. Recently, it was reported that officers assigned at these borders threatened to leave post due to the inability of Government to pay salaries and other benefits.
Already, the borders are porous. What will happen if the few officers there leave their assignments?
More scaring is the fact that Liberia could face a very serious nationality problem in the long-run as occasioned in neighboring La Cote d'Ivoire, leading to the Ivorian civil war-a nationality crisis between the Ivoirians and Bourkinabes (who fought for citizenship owing to the length of time they illegally entered and settled in La Cote d'Ivoire).
While we do not mean any harm to our Mano River Union brothers and sisters, the necessary precautions must be taken now to avoid a recurrence of the Ivorian nationality crisis in Liberia in the future.
Other than just properly policing the borders, the urgent need for cross-checking the legality of these non-Liberians now residing in the cities, towns and villages of Nimba, Bong and Lofa Counties is emphasized because the numbers continue to be overwhelming to the complacency of those responsibility to do-only because of the lack of basic logistics and motivations.
It is also in our best interest to immediately control the influx of non-Liberians into the country 'now and only today' to avoid the issue of the participation of illegal voters in any future Liberian electoral process.
We hold no malice against the residency of non-Liberians in Liberia, but such must be done through our immigration law. Entering and residing in our country illegally is very detrimental to our own security as a peace-loving people.
Policing our borders well must now top the priority of the Government of Liberia or else, prosperity will judge our leaders who'll fail to address this threatening matter.