Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has advocated for the review of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocol if it has become a cog used to undermine Nigeria’s security.
Governor Ortom advocated this, on Wednesday, at the Government House, in Makurdi, during a courtesy call on him by the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Mr. Muhammed Babandede.
“If the ECOWAS protocol has become a cog in the progress of Nigeria, it is high time we reviewed it,” Governor Ortom stressed.
While noting that even the current ECOWAS protocol provisions on procedures for trans-human movement within member countries should be strictly followed, the governor suggested that the provisions for quarantine services for livestock and prohibition of movement with arms as well as regulations that apply to human beings should be enforced for improved security in the country.
“Security reports revealed that the heightened insecurity in the country was linked to foreign herdsmen who enter the country without valid documents and compliance with the other regulations,” Ortom disclosed.
Governor Ortom, therefore, tasked the immigration authorities to curtail the excesses of immigrants into the country, even as he pledged government’s continued support to the service for optimal performance.
He also appealed that more Benue indigenes be recruited into the service, even as he promised to assist in providing land to the service for the construction of office accommodation as requested by the Comptroller General.
Earlier, the Comptroller General, Mr. Babandede, expressed sympathy with the government and people of Benue State over the killings by suspected herdsmen and pledged the support of the service in addressing insecurity in the state.
He said he was in the state to patrol the border area at Abande in Kwande Local Government Area with a view to checking the influx of illegal foreigners into the country.