Dons fault Buhari’s border closure policy
Prominent academics have said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to reverse the border closure policy makes him an unrepentant dictator.
They spoke yesterday at an inaugural lecture tagged ‘Unilateral Border Closures: Thirty years of Retrospection on Nigeria and Africa’ at the University of Lagos, Faculty of Arts.
Cautioning that the policy was detrimental to the nation’s economy, the dons called for immediate reconsideration of the policy decision.
They warned that the cost of not reversing the policy would dent Buhari’s democratic image, as the language and practice of border closure came with the military’s interruption of the democratic process.
Emeritus Professor of History, Anthony Asiwaju, lamented that “those discreditable hangers-on around the presidency in Abuja must lose out in their ongoing self-serving officially biased report about benefits of the border closure.”
According to him, they are even pushing in the direction of keeping the land borders permanently closed, not just for the remainder of Buhari’s term but beyond.
He said: “The recently imposed and still sustained border closure is retrogressive and ill-informed. Its sustenance beyond the conclusion of this lecture can only be at cost to the Buhari presidency risking being seen as insensitive and undemocratic in the eyes of the masses of this country and, especially the over 22 million poverty-stricken residents of the approximately 3,000 border communities in the 103 border councils of the 21 border states.
“The evidently ill-advised decision of August 20 to close all Nigerian’s land borders against limitrophe neighbours negated all the gains that have been made since the well-informed, knowledge-led paradigmatic policy shift was initiated in Nigeria and thereafter systematically extended to all African countries through the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and African Union (AU), all sequel to the inaugural lecture in this university 35 years ago.
“The conclusion is that science would triumph in the war of 2019 to 2020 just as science won in the battle of 1984 to 1985; and the recommendation is for immediate reconsideration of the policy decision to close the land borders.”