Minister of Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), has revealed that the close family relationship between traditional rulers in Nigeria and the neighbouring countries constitute a strong hindrance to efforts at securing the country's porous borders.He spoke at the opening of the International Press Institute (IPI) World Congress 2018 which began yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The event was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari shortly after his return from Bauchi State where he went to assess the level of damage caused by windstorm.During a discussion session, Danbazau told the gathering that the problem of Boko Haram insurgency in the North East did not affect only Nigeria.
The minister, who said the Federal Government was using technology to monitor Nigeria's borders, also blamed state governors for poor governance which, according to him, has contributed to the insecurity challenges besetting the country.He made the comment in a veil reference to the recent declaration by Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, that he was handicapped from performing his role as the chief security officer of the state.
"You will agree that with the situation where you have half-brothers that have a virtually common cultural affinity, it is extremely difficult. I have visited some towns and I have requested to meet with the leadership of border communities, and when they came, we started discussing the security of our borders and coincidentally, the chief of the community that is between Nigeria and Niger Republic are brothers. They are of the same father, same mother. So, they did not like me to talk about borders because as far as they are concerned, there is no border," he said.
"Realising that the insurgency is a regional issue, the first thing President Buhari did was to seek partnership with the neigbouring countries. He visited all the neighbouring countries." A little effort has been made to ensure that we have effective relationship both at bilateral and multilateral levels to ensure that we do not breach border security."
In his remarks, President Buhari said Nigeria was honoured to host the array of journalists for the World IPI conference in Abuja.President Buhari who said the conference was holding in Nigeria at a time when the world was facing global terrorism threats explained that the new technology and change in media landscape had made profound impact on the practice of the journalism profession.
The president also commended the theme of the conference "Why good journalism matters: Quality media for strong societies".He said: "Good journalism gives good governance. Our country has a rich history of robust relationship with the IPI, prominent Nigeria journalists and media operators were and have continue to be in the leadership of the international body.
"The changing landscape, the explosion of the social media and the rapidly evolving new technology have had profound impact on media business and practice. It is, therefore, good that you have chosen an appropriate theme for your conference," he noted.The ministers of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; Trade, Industry and Investment, Okechwuku Enelamah; and Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed told the gathering of journalists from around the world that President Buhari deserved a second term in office since his government has achieved in all areas that were promised Nigerians during the campaigns.