Lai Mohammed blasts Atiku over plan to reopen borders

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Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has described as unfortunate the pledge by the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar to reopen all Nigerian borders if elected president.

The former Vice President had made the pledge during his campaign rally in Katsina on Tuesday.

But Lai said Atiku in his desperation for power would not hesitate to return Nigeria to the era of unbridled inflow of weapons and massive importation of food to the detriment of local farmers.

The minister spoke on Thursday in Abuja at the 15th edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) Administration Scorecard Series.

The scorecard initiative, which was launched as part of efforts to showcase the achievements of the Buhari administration, had as guest the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi.

According to the minister, Atiku’s pledge, if implemented, would put millions of Nigerians out of job as well as ruin the fertiliser companies and the rice mills that had grown exponentially in number since Nigeria shut its land borders in 2019.

He added that the planned policy by Atiku would worsen the security situation in Nigeria by throwing open all the borders and allowing massive inflow of small arms and light weapons into the country.

Lai said by the statement, Mr Abubakar had informed Nigerians that he would reverse all the efforts made by the Buhari administration to achieve self-sufficiency in the production of many staples, especially rice.

He added that the millions of rice farmers would lose their jobs when imported rice floods the country while hundreds of thousands of Nigerians working in the various rice mills established under the Buhari administration would also be jobless.

“By that statement, Alhaji Atiku will shut down most, if not all, of our new fertiliser blending companies, with thousands of jobs going down the drain.

“Also, by his declaration, the former vice president has told Nigerians that he will worsen security in the country by allowing arms and ammunition to flow in unhindered into the country,” he said.