Buhari orders clampdown on smugglers, ‘fifth-columnists among security agents

President Muhammadu has inaugurated ‘Operation Swift Response’ as a border drill exercise to checkmate the illegal activities of smugglers and ‘fifth columnists’ within the security circles across the nation ‘s borders.

Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, who made this known in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, said the crackdown had become imperative as President expressed serious concern over the unauthorised release of 295 smuggled Petroleum tankers.

According to Adesina, the border drill has been hugely successful and has led to the interception and seizure of large quantities of foods, materials, minerals and petroleum resources illegally trafficked across the borders.

The presidential aide, who quoted the president to have commended the security agencies for ”a job well done, however, finds it disheartening to learn that 295 smuggled petroleum tankers were released without due authorization on Dec. 17, 2019, by some security officials charged with the responsibility of protecting our borders.”

He said: ”Sequel to this act, the National Security Adviser (NSA) was directed to set up a Board of Inquiry to investigate the crime, and it was recommended to the President that all officials (civilian or security operatives) found to have connived to undermine government’s efforts should be withdrawn from the border drill and severely sanctioned by their respective organisations.

”The President has accepted the recommendations and directed the immediate withdrawal and replacement of all those found culpable.

”He has also directed that their respective organisations should mete immediate appropriate disciplinary actions to them.”

President maintained that the Operation Swift Response was part of the Federal Government’s effort to ensure food security and improve local production of goods at competitive prices.(NAN)