A security expert in Katsina State, Ibrahim Ahmad, is advising the Federal Government to revisit and relax its border closure policy with a view to alleviating the sufferings of the citizens. Despite the wave of coups in Africa, he believes there is no cause for alarm for Nigeria.
Nigeria’s borders with Niger Republic were closed in the wake of the military coup in the West African nation.
But Mr Ibrahim, who spoke to Channels Television on Friday in Katsina, said residents of the border communities have not been finding life easy due to the collapse in economic activities.
He appealed to the Federal Government to rejuvenate the concept of comradeship, patriotism, and loyalty among the security forces and the areas of concern for the average person.
According to him, policymakers should not take people for granted but try to understudy the feelings of the citizens and address them, especially in the areas of poverty and other socioeconomic issues that are biting hard.
“The best thing for the government to do is to study the situation in the aspect of human psychology and try to address the concerns in order not to allow anti-establishment forces to catch on it and increase tension,” he said.
“You know human being by nature, his faculty is dynamic and the best strategy to contain human behavior is by understudying the pattern of his thinking.
“Based on the trend on the African continent now, I think there is no cause for alarm for us in Nigeria as long as the policymakers will understand the concept of the thinking of an average person and try to address his feelings because Nigerians are some of the best people in the world that support and cooperate with their government.
“The best advice for the policymakers is not to take people for granted but try to understudy the feelings and address them, especially in the areas of poverty and other socioeconomic issues that are biting hard with a view to addressing them.
“There is what we call economic diplomacy where you reach out to people to address their concerns. The essence of democracy is understanding the feelings of citizens.
“The issue of border closure should be revisited because we are not in a war situation. In line with the concept of economic diplomacy, when you open the border, an average person will have breathing space. These border communities are contagious, we are the same people.
“So, by the time you close the border, the economic activities will definitely collapse which will lead to agitations and tensions. The Federal Government should relax the closure of the border and open business opportunities for the people.
“These issues of ECOWAS sanctions and what have you should be treated diplomatically because the border communities are feeling the brunt and is affecting both countries. It should be given attention because in the event of everything, they are the people that we need their support, but now the situation as it is, members of the border communities are not feeling well, they have been complaining about the complete collapse in economic activities.
“By the time you frustrate them, you block their economic chances, they will turn against you.
“The loyalty of the average military man to the government in Nigeria is high. What’s happening in the francophone countries definitely should be of concern to all of us.”