In response to the recent coup d’état in neighboring Niger Republic, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has taken a significant diplomatic step by temporarily closing all land borders between the two nations. The decision comes in line with the directive issued by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to suspend the movement of cargo until further notice, in an effort to ensure stability in the region.
Acting Controller General of the NCS, Bashir Adewale, confirmed the closure of the borders during a visit to the Jibia border in Katsina on Friday evening. Adewale emphasized that the move is not only in adherence to ECOWAS’ directive but is also aimed at maintaining peace and stability between Nigeria and Niger Republic. He further expressed the NCS’s commitment to sensitizing border communities about the temporary closure and ensuring their cooperation.
The decision to close the borders underscores the gravity of the political situation in Niger Republic following the coup. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in a letter presented to the Senate, informed the Nigerian government of the closure of ECOWAS borders to Niger Republic. He also highlighted the cessation of electricity supply to the country and hinted at additional sanctions that may follow.
Tinubu’s letter, read during a plenary session by Senate President Senator Godswill Akpabio, emphasized the collective stance of ECOWAS member states in demanding the restoration of power to democratically elected leaders in Niger Republic. The move reflects the regional commitment to upholding democratic principles and ensuring that the will of the people is respected.
The temporary closure of the land borders between Nigeria and Niger Republic not only demonstrates the swift and decisive action taken by the NCS but also underscores the broader regional efforts to address the political upheaval in Niger. As both countries navigate this challenging period, the closure aims to promote stability and maintain peaceful relations between these West African neighbors. The situation is being closely monitored by regional and international observers, who are keen to see a resolution that upholds democratic norms and respects the rule of law.