Rogue security men, involved with Operation Swift Response at the partially closed Nigerian border, have released 295 petrol tankers seized from smugglers back to the smugglers.
The unpatriotic act has drawn the fury of President Muhammadu Buhari, who has ordered severe sanctions for those involved by their respective organisations.
Operation Swift Response is a border drill exercise meant to checkmate the illegal activities of smugglers across Nigerian borders.
It was aimed at boosting food security and local production of food and other goods and protect them against unfair competition, occasioned by the porous borders.
In a statement by Femi Adesina, presidential adviser on media, Buhari rated the border drill “hugely successful”, as it has “led to the interception and seizure of large quantities of foods, materials, minerals and petroleum resources illegally trafficked across our borders”.
However, Buhari has found it “disheartening to learn that 295 smuggled petroleum tankers were released without due authorisation on 17th December, 2019 by some security officials charged with the responsibility of protecting our borders”.
After the illegal release, Buhari directed the National Security Adviser (NSA) to set up a Board of Inquiry to investigate the crime.
The inquiry recommended to the President that all officials (civilian or security operatives) found to have connived to undermine government’s efforts should be withdrawn from the border drill and severely sanctioned by their respective organizations, Adesina said.
“The President has accepted the recommendations and directed the immediate withdrawal and replacement of all those found culpable. He has also directed that their respective organizations should mete immediate appropriate disciplinary actions to them”, Adesina added.