By; Amos Tauna, Kaduna.
Prof Abdullahi Ashafa of History Department, Kaduna State University, KASU, said on Thursday that Nigeria’s policy of good neighborliness was partly responsible for its vulnerability to many national and transnational security threat.
Ashafa stated this in a paper entitled, “Nigeria-Niger Border Relations; From Colonial Tolerance to Post-Colonial Engagements,” at the institution’s Faculty of Arts Seminar Series in Kaduna.
He explained that Nigeria shared cultural patterns with its neighbors beyond border, geography and history, which in one way or the other influenced its foreign policy based on trust of good neighborliness.
He pointed out that the country’s economic buoyancy, relative to its neighbours and the nature of its porous borders were bound to attract migrants from the sub-region, especially from less developed countries.
He however noted that there was hardly any part of Nigeria’s borders that was free from being used for either human or drugs trafficking, illegal migration and illicit arms transfer into the country.
“In fact, the free flow of small arms and light weapons into Nigeria did not only scale up the state of insecurity in the country, but has also increased the number and intensity of violent ethno-religious and political conflicts.
“Similarly, the rampant and undocumented illegal migrations through Nigerian Borders has equally constituted security threat for Nigeria.
“With the Boko Haram insurgency in the country’s northeast region, drug trafficking, mercenary activities and cattle rustling to provide food and consumables for the insurgents had surged.
“This shows clearly how transnational social networks can have serious negative effects on Nigerians security, ”Ashafa said.
He noted that the seasonal transnational and transhuman movement of herders, coming into the country from Guinea, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Cameroon, Chard and Central African Republic also constituted serious security threat.
“The consequences of this have been the rampant conflicts with Nigerian farming communities, and the attendant perennial security challenges it poses, “he said.
Ashafa, advised that trans-border cooperation against transnational crime and threats to security must be employed to the satisfaction of all neighbours.
He added that Nigeria’s good neighbourliness and big brother policies should be combined among others with security engagements with its neighbours on matters of security concern.