Over 160, 000 foreigners have been deported by the Federal government in connection with one criminal and terrorist offence or the other.
While fielding questions from journalists in Abuja at the weekend, on the efforts to control our porous borders by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the Minister of Interior, and Comrade Abba Moro said the success was achieved through the strengthening of operational mechanism of the NIS and cooperation with other security agencies.
He said more efforts were being made to improve on the performance of the immigration service with a view to effectively screen and identify criminally-minded aliens that are willing tools in the hands of terrorists.
He noted that foreigners had exploited certain aspects of ECOWAS protocol that guarantees freedom of movement of people to penetrate the Nigerian borders.
The Interior Minister said: “Our major challenge is the presence of foreigners in our means who exploit the provisions of ECOWAS protocol providing free movement of people within member countries.
“The presence in our situation of suicide bombings and bomb blast attacks in our institutions made it imperative to take certain measures to forestall the contrived occurrence of these activities”.
“The NIS that is charged with the responsibility of containing our boarders will rise up to the occasion, set up the necessary machinery to identify, to screen and to profile aliens that are in the country with the view to identify those aliens that are criminally minded, those that are inimical to the establishment of the country.”
“In the process, about 160000 of such aliens have been repatriated as at the time that I am talking to you because efforts put in place to control our borders”, he disclosed.
The minister also promised that with all the measures in place, Nigeria would enjoy a more stable and secure society in 2013.
Meanwhile, the Zamfara State Police Command disclosed that about 10 persons were killed at the weekend by unknown gunmen during a raid on two neighbouring villages in the state.
“There was an attack in these villages in Zamfara and people were killed. I think the number is around 10,” Zamfara State police spokesman, Hassan Usman Talba, said on phone from the scene.
He said the prime suspects were gangs of Fulani herdsman but that police were still investigating.