Agaju Madugba, Katsina

Governors of Nigeria’s 19 northern states say that a number of the security challenges confronting Nigeria may not be unconnected with the country’s porous borders.

“Some of the security problems we face today are being imported from our neighbouring countries,” Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari, who is also Chairman of the security committee of the Northern States Governor’s Forum, said on Saturday.

Masari spoke at the Government House during the opening of a meeting of a sub-committee with membership drawn from civil servants in charge of security issues across the northern states.

He identified cattle rustling, kidnapping and banditry as some of the challenges currently prevalent in some of the states, and urged the committee to suggest the roles which the federal, states and local governments should play in checking the influx of foreigners into the country through its borders.

According to Masari, “I advise you not delve too much into communal, tribal and religious issues because these issues have always been there and they will continue to be with us.

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“We have always had tribal and religious tensions in some places and boundary disputes and other communal wrangling.

“Even if you go into such areas, you should find out why we have failed to manage them as we used to.

“You should come up with suggestions that are practicable and not superficial.

“You have to look at the reasons for the formation of the sub- committee. Even before the raising of the committee we had various problems some of them peculiar to each state.

“Your role is to look at the overall picture and come up with a broad solution while also considering the peculiarities of each state.

“Boko Haram (in the North-East) is a special issue on its own being dealt with by the Federal Government but there are signs of infiltration into some other parts of the country.”