By Ray Ugochukwu
The Lagos Border Patrol Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has called on international travelers to bear with its officers who are currently embarking on strict scrutiny and surveillance of persons moving across the land frontier.
It stressed that the measures were intended for the good of all as they are in tandem with the current security situation the country is facing.
Speaking for the command was the Controller, Comptroller Shittu Olajire Fatai, while receiving the leadership of the Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria (MAJAN) in his Seme office recently.
“I must plead with travelers to please cooperate with our officers when they stop and begin to interrogate them. They should not see it as causing delay because it is in the best interest of everybody.
“We all can see what is happening in the country today with the activities of terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements. So, when our officers stop them, they should not take offence or see it as causing unnecessary delays but as actions taken in the interest of everybody”, Comptroller Shittu said.
He expressed delight that his area of operation was not as volatile as its counterparts in the other northern parts of the country but however added that nothing should be taken for granted; hence the deliberate scrutiny of travelers.
Shittu, who assumed office not more than a month way, therefore solicited for the partnership of the media in the command’s quest to ensure security in the area, asserting that a collaboration with journalists would go a long way in achieving good service delivery.
In his words, “We should thank God that the southern part of the country is not as turbulent as the northern part when one could not say what happens the next moment.
“All the same, we should not rest on our oars as security should be everybody’s concern; that is we officers scrutinize travelers”.
“I’m happy with your visit today and your desire to work with us in the discharge of our duty. With good relationship we’ll work together. If you hear anything, let us know because as journalists, you’re better disposed to some vital information.
“Again, there is the need to vet every information you get about us and our officers. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do your job but always clarify from us before going public.
“In every system, there must be bad eggs. We’re getting complaints and we’re treating them as they come. So, if you hear anything about us, please let us know before you go public.
Idris, Comptroller-General, NIS
“You can be sure we’re ready to work with you because you play an important role in the society”.
The Controller disclosed that his findings on arrival showed that some security outfits were mounting checks where they ought not to be, saying that no other agency was supposed to be ahead of the NIS when it had to do with travelers’ entry and exit.
The well-traveled officer, who did not name the security agencies involved, however disclosed that the command was addressing the matter through the appropriate quarters.