Many travellers groaned on Thursday at Seme border post on the back of restriction of movement around Nigeria’s frontier with Benin Republic, as they were stranded for hours.
Concise News understands that the restriction followed the joint border security exercise ordered by the Nigerian government aimed at securing the country’s land and maritime borders.
Spokesman for the Customs Joseph Attah, had in a statement on Tuesday, said that the joint border security exercise would be conducted in 25 states across the South-South, South-West, North-Central and North-West zones.
He urged the public to cooperate with the officials.
Code-named ‘Ex-Swift Response,’ the exercise is being jointly conducted by the customs, immigration, police and military personnel and coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser.
Officials will focus on fraudulent exit of petroleum products, importation of second-hand vehicles, as well as importation of rice.
NAN reports that incoming travelers and vehicles were thoroughly searched by the additional security officials drafted to the border, causing long delays.
Many commercial vehicles conveying passengers into Nigeria were ordered to park at the new border post for several hours while hundreds of Nigeria-bound trucks were parked across the border.
Christopher Lawal, a passenger on Chisco Bus Transport, told NAN that their vehicle had been stop for inspection for several hours.
“We don’t know what is happening. Our bus was stopped for inspection since 12 noon, they just asked us to wait,” he said.
“We have spent close to three hours now and nobody is telling us what is happening.
“We are not aware of the restriction, we went on excursion to Ghana and coming back to the country, they just asked the driver to wait.”
Daniel Avoseh, a coconut trader, said that his four trucks of coconut coming from Ghana was stuck at border post since the exercise started on Tuesday.
“Up till now, they did not allow the trucks to pass. I am not aware of any restriction before I went to buy coconut in Ghana,” he said.
This news medium had reported that some travellers were left stranded on Wednesday as the border was closed on both sides.
“Just on my way to Nigeria now they have closed border,” national daily Guardian Newspapers had quoted a stranded traveller as saying.
“The Benin-Nigerian borders are closed. At Chikanda and around Kwara state and other borders, the passages are carefully filtered.”