Again, Buhari Shows Trump How Porous Nigeria's Border Is
An adage in Nigeria's Niger Delta where I am from says a man could be pardoned when he makes a comment once on the ground that he could have been influenced to say so, but when he says it again a second time, it demands that it should be looked into.
President Muhammadu Buhari and his friend and President of the United States, Donald Trump held a meeting on Monday and it was a productive one, but it also identifies what the Nigerian government needs to do to show it is serious in the talks about securing its citizens and their property.
At both leaders closed-door meeting the type we usually see in the Presidency in Nigeria, Buhari made comments about why killings have continued to happen by persons usually identified as herdsmen have continued.
It was reported that President Buhari again highlighted that while Donald Trump was already talking about building a face between Mexico and the U.S.A., to reduce influx of illegal migrants from that region, the Nigerian government is not in any way looking at that direction.
It appears it is one thing that will work for Nigeria going by President Buhari's comments, but his repeated defence for increasing attacks on Nigerians in the northeast and middle belt (north central) also casts aspersions on the need to spend $1 billion on buying arms to fight Boko Haram and herdsmen instead of fencing our borders like Trump is doing at least to ward of the danger permanently.
Critics have always said security votes of that magnitude the kind that was also allegedly squandered by the former administration, were usually leakages to our revenue - pouring water on the ground of a desert and expecting it to form an ocean.
President Buhari told Mr Trump that persons attacking communities in Nigeria were not Nigerians and that they had ran down to Nigeria with AK-47 after Ghaddafi's government fell.
The Nigerian leader dismissed claims that herdsmen in Nigeria had guns. 'They only go about with sticks and sometimes Machetes,' the Nigerian leader insisted.
But we have never heard that countries they crossed before getting to Nigeria were brutally attacked. Or is Nigeria the only country that has vast land and water cattle can munch and drink?
The President highlighted another incident that contradicts the situation on ground. He told Trump that Nigeria would be reviewing its laws to make land available for herdsmen.
Why are we fighting for land colony for herdsmen who attack farmers if they are not from Nigeria? Are we adjusting our laws to suit foreigners when we could have just fenced them out and give them legal entry?
All these questions are really mind-bugging.
A porous border has made it possible for all sort of things to happen, including revenue theft in our borders where foreign rice enters at prices Nigerians can afford.
Pushing local rice production with a porous border appears more like gathering revenue with one hand and letting it filter away from the other. The steam that rice farmers are burning with right now may soon fizzle out except there is a secure border that ensures everyone that enters this country is legally accounted for.
Sharing a border-building dream with the American President who is seriously against illegal migration would have been a more convincing strategy against the killings if the perpetrators are actually foreigners.
When will our borders become safe?