President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a crackdown on security agents who illegally released 295 petroleum tankers that were smuggled into the country through the nation’s borders.
This followed the recommendations of the National Security Adviser (NSA), who investigated the December 17, 2019 incident after the president had authorized a probe.
A statement issued in Abuja on Saturday by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), which disclosed these, regretted that the tankers were illegally released by some of the security agencies detailed to check smuggling activities at the borders.
The statement said the president has accepted the recommendations of the NSA and has directed that those involved should be immediately withdrawn from the borders and punished by their units.
The statement read: “As part of the Federal Government’s effort to ensure food security and improve local production of goods at competitive prices, President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned ‘OperatIon Swift Response’ as a border drill exercise to checkmate the illegal activities of smugglers across our borders.
“He, however, finds it disheartening to learn that 295 smuggled petroleum tankers were released without due authorization on 17th December 2019 by some security officials charged with the responsibility of protecting our borders.
“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that all officials (civilian or security operatives) found to have connived to undermine government’s efforts should be withdrawn from the border drill and severely sanctioned by their respective organizations.
“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 organizations should mete immediate appropriate disciplinary actions to them.”