- Former lawmaker says Buhari is walking the talk.
- Says security implication of the activities at the borders is a serious concern.
The All Progressives Congress governorship candidate in Imo state during the last election, Hope Uzodinma, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari over the closure of Nigeria’s border with the Benin Republic and other neighbouring countries to check rice smuggling.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, the former lawmaker said it was evidence of the president’s determination to get Nigeria working again.
Uzodinma who described the move as a right step in the right direction said “it can only take a man who has the interest of his country and the political will to work his talk’’.
Uzodinma, who is the Chairman of the screening committee for the Kogi state governorship primary election said that his committee which was Senate Committee on Customs, in the course of its oversight functions then, discovered the humongous amount of money the country was losing to rice smuggling and other illicit activities.
“When I was the Chairman, Senate Committee on Customs, I recommended the closure of the borders because of the quantum of illicit transactions taking place at the detriment of the country.
“The security implication of the activities at the borders was also a serious concern to us then because they are very porous.
“Those areas are landlocked with so many track roads and so many things happening there that have not helped our economy.
“So, if the Federal Government in its wisdom decided to close the borders to check all those, I support it,” he said.
While noting that the issue is beyond checking smuggling of rice, the former lawmaker said it will check kidnappers and other criminal elements from thronging the country to commit all manner of atrocities.
“So for me, the land borders should be closed until we can find a lasting solution. For now imports can come in through our seaports,’’ he said.