Visa-on-ar­rival pol­icy’ll af­fect se­cu­rity –Igbo group

The Punch - - NEWS - Chi­diebube Okeoma, Ow­erri

The Igbo na­tional Coun­cil has asked the Pres­i­dent, Ma­jor Gen­eral Muham­madu Buhari(retd.), to re­verse his de­ci­sion to grant visas on ar­rival to Africans who in­tend to come into the coun­try.

INC in a state­ment in Ow­erri on Thurs­day by its na­tional pres­i­dent, Chi­los God­sent, and sec­re­tary, Zulu Ofoelue, warned that the pol­icy would en­dan­ger the coun­try’s se­cu­rity ap­pa­ra­tus.

The pro-igbo group stated that apart from in­creas­ing ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties in the coun­try, the econ­omy of the na­tion would be en­dan­gered if the pol­icy was not re­versed.

INC asked gov­er­nors of the south-east­ern states to put mea­sures in place to halt the in­flux of Fu­lani herds­men to the geopolitic­cal zone.

It asked state houses of assem­bly in the South-east to make laws that would for­bid open graz­ing in the zone.

It said, “Since the re­gret­table an­nounce­ment of the visa free pol­icy for African im­mi­grants by the Pres­i­dent Buhari-led ad­min­is­tra­tion, the Igbo na­tional Coun­cil has taken a deep study of the so­cio-eco­nomic and se­cu­rity im­pli­ca­tions of such pol­icy on nige­ria and its cit­i­zens, es­pe­cially with the re­cent in­crease in ne­far­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ists or­gan­i­sa­tions in nige­ria and Africa at large.

“It is re­gret­table that this pol­icy is com­ing when many

African heads of state are com­ing to­gether to fight against ter­ror­ism.

“un­for­tu­nately, since that re­gret­table an­nounce­ment of visa-free pol­icy by the nige­rian gov­ern­ment, we have no­ticed huge in­flux of for­eign Fu­lani herds­men in some states in east­ern nige­ria and the Mid­dle Belt re­gion, es­pe­cially Benue, Ebonyi and Enugu states.”

The na­tional Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency has com­menced Op­er­a­tion Ea­gles Eyes in Ado Ek­iti, the Ek­iti State cap­i­tal, to en­sure the roads are safe and free for trav­ellers.

The Op­er­a­tion head, NEMA Ek­iti State, Mr Oluse­gun Afo­layan, said the ex­er­cise would cre­ate a plat­form for res­cuers to save lives on high­ways dur­ing emer­gen­cies.

Afo­layan, who spoke while in­au­gu­rat­ing the op­er­a­tion, said, “Am­bu­lances and res­cue teams would be sta­tioned at strate­gic places, es­pe­cially on the high­ways to res­cue peo­ple in the event of crashes.”

he re­it­er­ated the agency’s com­mit­ment to part­ner the Fed­eral Road Safety Corps to achieve zero road crashes dur­ing the Yule­tide sea­son and to en­sure that the road was safe and free for trav­ellers.

The FRSC Sec­tor Com­man­der in Ek­iti State, Mrs Faustina Alegbe, ap­pre­ci­ated the NEMA team for the in­ter­ven­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion in en­sur­ing the safety of road users.

Alegbe, who ad­vised driv­ers to be cau­tious and avoid tak­ing al­co­hol be­fore or while driv­ing, added that they should en­sure proper func­tion­ing of their ve­hi­cles at all times.

She said the FRSC of­fi­cers would be on the road to check doc­u­ments and ad­dress is­sues of over­load­ing, ex­pired tyres, re­ceiv­ing or mak­ing calls while driv­ing and speed­ing.

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