By VICTORIA OJEME Abuja
Minister of Interior, Mr Abba Moro yesterday said the sophistication of the operational strategies as well as the arsenal of members of Boko Haram sect point to the involvement of foreign fighters in their midst.
Speaking in Abuja during the Ministerial press briefing to mark President Good luck Jonathan one year anniversary, the Minister also lamented the sorry state of the nation’s fire fighting infrastructure.
Moro while speaking on government efforts to contain terrorism in the country noted the presence of foreign dimension in the scale and sophistication of attacks by terrorists, saying, “ because of the nature and sophistication of the attacks by this terrorists, certainly there is a foreign dimension and so, this foreign dimension indicates that certain foreigners must have infiltrated our ranks. There’s no doubt about it”.
He attributed this development to the porous nature of the Nigerian border, particularly between Borno state and Chad , resulting in a situation, “where every place is a route.
“I want to let you know we have a very serious challenge on our hand when it comes to Nigerians living particularly in the borders, you have the problem of trying to identify a kanuri man from a Borno man or a Chadian.
You have the problem of ascertaining whether the Fulani man that you have in kebbi or that you have found in kano is not the same man that you have found in Niger republic” he added.
The Minister lamented the ease with which foreigners from neighboring countries obtain, “ a Nigerian passport. It is not impossible. Immigration officers are Nigerians and you know the basic problem that we have in Nigeria is the subversion and the perversion of the processes so it is possible that an immigration officer will compromise himself.
Speaking on the state of the Fire Service, Moro noted the lack of infrastructure in the sector, emphasizing the urgent need to upgrade the nation’s fire fighting platforms to conform with international standards.
He said his Ministry is taking steps to initiate the process of rehabilitating the sector, unveiling plans to brand new 212 fire fighting stations across the country, saying, “We have held conferences with state fire services most of which are in a state of complete comatose.
“ We have been holding conferences and we have put before the appropriate authorities our desire to construct 212 fire stations across the country. A consortium of American companies will very soon be in this country to make a presentation before the Economic Management team and I can assure you the responses I have gotten since I approached the Ministry of Finance today that proposal will be taken and we will have a new lease of life in the Fire Service” the Minister said.
On the state of the Prisons, he disclosed of the Ministry’s commitment to repositioning prisons infrastructure, adding that, ;plans have reached advance stage to constructed a world class prisons inn each of the geo-political zones that can accommodate Nigerians repatriated from foreign prisons to complete their sentences at home.
Moro further dismissed as incorrect stories of female prisoner getting impregnated in prisons while doing time, insisting that any incidences of female inmates giving birth while in prisons must have arisen from prior pregnancy before coming into the prison system.