Abdulrahman Dambazau, the Minister for Interior, revealed during a speech at the Immigration Command and Staff College in Sokoto, that 1,400 routes into Nigeria were unmanned.
He didn’t provide any details on what he was doing to deal with the matter apart from claiming the government would do its best to ensure the country is secure.
This is shocking on several levels.
The government continues to act like it is in opposition by just highlighting what is wrong. Although it has only been in office since the end of May last year, just saying that there are 1,400 unmanned entry routes into the country is not good enough.
A government that came into power boasting of its security credentials and claiming that it would end the Boko Haram insurgency, should not be so blasé about so many unmanned entry routes. President Muhammadu Buhari said while running for office: “If you elect me as the president of Nigeria on February 14, 2015, I am assuring you that our government will chase Boko Haram out of Nigeria within two months because it is the responsibility of any reasonable government to secure the lives and property of its citizens.”
He did not chase the militants out of Nigeria in two months and has still not chased them out, despite giving another deadline of the end of December last year. And he will be unable to secure the lives and property of Nigerians if the country’s borders are not secured.
The fact that so many routes into the country are unmanned and there seems to be little in terms of plans to deal urgently with the issue, are signs that the government is incapable of dealing decisively with security concerns, despite the posturing.
A country that can’t control its borders means it has significantly weakened its ability to fulfil the basic functions of a sovereign state. It means it is a failed state.