The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) says it has trained 320 tactical operatives to support the military in the North-West.
Its spokesman, Sunday James, disclosed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja.
James said that the 320 trained operatives were made up of 70 officers and 250 other ranks to be deployed to the North-West.
The statement quoted the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, as urging the 320 operatives to do the nation proud in their assignment to the North-West.
Aregbesola expressed optimism that no unwanted element would enter the country with the intensive training the operatives were given.
According to him, the operatives should see their duty in the North-West as the highest national service to keep the border and the country safe.
He urged them to justify same by being professional in all their actions so as to protect the country from influx and infiltration by irregular migrants and other unwanted elements while supporting the military in the North-West.
According to him, the contiguous and homogeneous nature of the border communities calls for NIS/border community relationship.
“This is a way to safeguard the borders thereby guaranteeing a safe nation, which is the ultimate.
“This is done through intelligence gathered from community members who will only share information available to them when they have confidence in the operatives and accept them as part of the community, and not just as government officials,” he said.
The Comptroller General (CG), NIS, Muhammad Babandede, stressed the need for the officers to avoid compromise in the course of their duty.
Babandede reiterated that the service could not afford to go back to the era of non-chalant and arbitrary abuse of their duty call, which demands commitment and bravery.
“The 320 operatives are hereby charged to put national interest before any other thing so as to succeed and deliver on the mandate of the service to the nation,” he said.
The CG observed that the NIS Joint Task Force (JTF) component had been on national assignment since 2009 and demobilised with new sets trained and sent to take charge on routine basis.
“They are expected to cover about 700 kilometres along the flanks of the neighbouring Cameroon, Niger, Chad, Benin Republic covering the North East and West of the country,” he said.
Babandede appreciated the Minister of Interior for the support and executive approvals in getting the request of the contingents met.
He commended the ministry on the promise made concerning the welfare of the trained operatives, and appealed for further support toward the purchase of more patrol vehicles, uniform accoutrements, among others.