GHANAIAN President Nana Akufo-Addo has pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to expedite the process of reopening the closed borders because of its effect on the economy of Ghana. President Akufo-Addo made the plea to Buhari during a bilateral discussion they had on the sidelines of the ongoing UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020 in London.
President Akufo-Addo, while showing an understanding of the need for Nigeria to protect her citizens, pleaded for “an expedited process, because the Nigerian market is significant for certain categories of business people in Ghana.” But the Nigerian President, Buhari said that the partial closure of the borders was to stop the proliferation of arms, ammunition and hard drugs.
In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, President Buhari said he could not keep his eyes open and watch youths being destroyed through cheap hard drugs, and compromised security caused by the unbridled influx of small arms.
According to him, “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.”
Buhari He said it was regrettable that the partial border closure was having “negative economic impact on our neighbours,” but added 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.
On time frame for reopening the borders, President Buhari said it would not happen till the final report of a committee set up on the matter was submitted and considered.
He said, “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 them.”