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You Eat What You Grow Or You Die – Buhari Says In Defense Of Land Border Closure

1 year ago
1 min read

President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigerians appreciated his decision to close the land border because it was either they eat what is produced locally or they die.

Buhari made this statement on Tuesday during the inauguration of the new N19.6 billion customs headquarters, located in the Maitama district of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). 

According to the President, he closed the land border on purpose because only God can guard the border between Lake Chad and to the Benin Republic.

Revealing the reason for such a decision, Buhari said Nigerians import rice despite the country having the potential to grow its own food. 

He said: “Please note that from Lake Chad to Benin Republic is more than 1,600 kilometres, only God can effectively guard the borders. 

“So you need a person who has the energy and the competence to supervise. I deliberately closed the borders because knowing Nigerians, they order rice, give some to Niger and the rest, and then they bring the rice here.” 

Buhari went on to state: “With our potential, we have people, we have land, and weather – how many nations are as lucky as Nigeria in the world, very few nations. 

“So closing that border, 1,600 kilometres, Nigerians insist they eat boiled rice – you eat what you grow or you die. I tried to make my point and later Nigerians appreciated it.” 

During the inauguration, the President also praised the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali, for his leadership. 

Buhari said he intentionally appointed Ali to lead the customs because of his history and his work rate, “As for Hameed Ali, I asked him to be in charge of customs. No matter what people say about the late Sani Abacha, may his soul rest in peace,” he said. 

“I knew him very well, when somehow he became president of this country, head of state, the biggest problematic area was around Kaduna. He picked Colonel Hameed Ali and dumped the problems on him. My decision for Hameed Ali to come to customs was a deliberate one. 

“(I brought) Colonel Hameed Ali to ensure that I have peace of mind,” President Buhari added.


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