Thousands of travelers stranded as FG shut Nigeria/Seme border
Thousands of Nigerian and Benin Republic nationals traveling through the Nigeria-Seme border were left stranded and frustrated on Tuesday following the closure of the entry port by the federal government last Wednesday.
It was gathered that business men and women affected by the shutdown were seen expressing anger and deep displeasure over their ordeal.
Mr. Alfred Eseoghene, a car dealer, lamented that the border was closed without any information, leaving thousands of Nigerians stranded in Benin Republic.
“The military is not allowing anybody to come in or go out through the land border. I came in through the bush partly because I have been working in Seme for years.”
Another victim of the border closure, Oyelesi Mayowa, who stated that immigration officials refused to explain the reason for the shutdown, said, “Nigeria immigration are treating their fellow Nigerians like animals at the Seme border. I have been here since 6pm yesterday. I pity this country.”
However, the spokesman of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Joseph Attah, told journalists that the closure was caused by a joint security exercise, which will take several days.
“A joint security exercise is ongoing to better secure the border. It will take several days and we have been working to ensure that it does not result in too much disruption for travelers,” Attah explained.
Federal government had earlier disclosed that it had began moves to close land borders throughout the country in a bid to foster security and ensure the safety of Nigerians. The move, coordinated by the office of the national security adviser (ONSA), it explained, was targeted at putting an end to the destructive activities of bandits across Nigeria.